The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), has appealed to the African Union (AU) Commission as well as the sub-regional bodies to clearly outline the rules of origin and sensitize citizens of all member states regarding the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the nationality of a product.
It will also be a major determinant of the effectiveness of AfCFTA once it comes into force in January 2021.
In a congratulatory statement issued by the Association to the African Union Commission, the sub-regional bodies in Africa, as well as the government and people of Ghana, President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng stated that the rules of origin could be a game-changer for the continent as long as they are transparent, business-friendly and predictable.
It also noted that, “it is our conviction that, the AfCFTA, will create enormous opportunities for businesses as it opens up our market with the population of about 1.2 billion people, and the expected volume of trade about 2.5 trillion dollars.”
Among other demands, the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association stated that in order for the continent to realize this laudable vision, adequate information and data of goods and services produced in member states should be made available.
Also, an innovative bank clearing system should be adopted in order not to over depend on foreign currencies.
Furthermore, a Central Bank is needed to facilitate the above is also necessary as this will provide affordable and competitive credit facilities to boost not only business but to ensure that AfCFTA is not edged out of international trade competition.
Finally, GUTA is recommending, “the position of sub-regional blocks i.e., ECOWAS etc. to be clearly defined and made known to all member countries, to avoid any confusion: and that the challenges encountered by these regional blocks also need to be thoroughly evaluated and fixed accordingly, within the context of AfCFTA.”