GNCCI spearheads project to increase trade with neighbours
By Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana
29 June 2011
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) is spearheading a capacity-building project to increase trade flows between neighboring ECOWAS countries and the European Union.
The project involves the establishment of a platform for networking to improve cross-border economic ties between member companies of the national chambers of Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
The overall objective is to deepen knowledge on the ECOWAS economic integration process and promote the utilization of Ghana as transshipment centre for export/import trade to obtain 10% annual increase in cross-border trade.
It should also unearth the challenges and business opportunities between Ghana and its neighbouring countries, in response to the collective drive of achieving the “Borderless ECOWAS”.
The Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its trade-related protocols seek to foster economic and trade ties among member states. But businesses often complain of excessive barriers at the borders, which impede efforts at transporting goods within the sub-region.
The GNCCI is working with counterpart chambers in the sub-region to influence policy decisions and enforcement in the removal of barriers that hinder the smooth transit of goods.
Chief Operating Officer, Sal Doe-Amegavie, says the project should “identify the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of GNCCI and other related issues that impede GNCCI from achieving its objective of enhancing the performance of its member companies, to be committed to efforts to improve trade flows between Ghana and its neighboring countries within the framework of ECOWAS regional integration process”.
Interventions to enhance trans-border trade include the application of information and communications technology (ICT) in the conduct of business.
The project examines the utilization of ECOBIZ, an electronic platform established by the ECOWAS Commission to promote trade among ECOWAS Member States in pursuance of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS).
Ashanti Regional Chair of the GNCCI, Nana Yaw Owusu tells Luv Biz Report Ghanaian businesses can take advantage of opportunities in neighbouring countries by taking interest in the study of French language.
“We are going to make our people aware that at least we need to increase our knowledge about the French language because the French speaking countries try to speak English [but] those of us here in Ghana think very little about it. But if you want to promote your business wherever possible, then you must also be interested in what language you’re going to conduct your business through”, he told Luv Biz Report at a project validation workshop in Kumasi.
Nana Owusu also believes the realization of the Boankra Inland Port project would promote trade between Ghana and other land-locked countries.