26 February 2017

Trade facilitation eases way of doing business


Madam Valentina Mintah, CEO, West Blue Consulting

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of West Blue Consulting, Madam Valentina Mintah, says the Ghana National Single Window programme will continue to play a key role in the country’s trade facilitation programme.

So far, 15 sub-articles of the 32 agreements of the trade facilitation programme have been covered, and Madam Mintah is upbeat about the country achieving a further reduction in time and cost of doing business in Ghana while providing a level playing field for all trade participants.

West Blue Consulting, which is a technical partner for the Ghana National Single Window programme and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is facilitating the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreements (TFAs) in Ghana.

“We are very excited that the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreements in the country will further enhance the ease of doing business in the country,” Madam Mintah said in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Thursday.

Global trade agreements

The ICC has also welcomed the entry into force of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) TFA, a landmark global trade agreement which could provide a boost to global trade flows of over US$1 trillion.

Two-thirds of WTO member states have now ratified the TFA, with Rwanda, Chad, Oman and Jordan becoming the latest of 110 countries to ratify the agreement. Reaching this threshold means the TFA now becomes an official part of the multilateral trading system which covers more than 96 per cent of global GDP.

The TFA, which is the first multilateral trade agreement to enter into force in over two decades, aims to make trade easier and simpler by cutting red tape at borders. ICC has estimated that the deal could support the creation of some 20 million jobs worldwide, the vast majority in developing countries.

ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “The entry into force of the TFA is a watershed moment for global trade. The reality today is that many small businesses find themselves unable to trade internationally due to complex customs requirements. By cutting unnecessary red tape at borders, the TFA will have a transformational effect on the ability of entrepreneurs in developing countries to access global markets.”

Mr Mittal added, “The TFA can help ensure that for the first time, all companies – regardless of size or location—can benefit from global trade. The entry into force of the agreement could not have come at a more important moment given the imperative to make global growth more inclusive.”

ICC has been a leading proponent of the TFA, playing a key role in the 2013 negotiations that led to the agreement and working closely with the WTO and other international organisations to coordinate and support the deal’s implementation.

Customs reforms

The ICC Secretary-General, Mr John Danilovich, said; “ICC has tirelessly championed the TFA because we know that making trade easier through simple custom reforms can provide a major boost to small business growth. It’s estimated that the TFA could increase SME exports by 80 per cent in some economies. This means more jobs, more consumer choice and ultimately, more inclusive development.”

Mr Danilovich also called on governments to take action to implement the TFA, saying: “The entry into force of the TFA is just one step to making the potential benefits of this landmark agreement a reality. Governments must work without delay to implement the provisions of the TFA working hand in hand with local businesses to identify key bottlenecks to trade across national borders.”


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