Ghana businesses get duty free access to US, EU, UK
BUSINESSES IN Ghana now have duty-free quota-free access to the United States (US), European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) markets aside from the enormous benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents to Ghana’s private sector.
Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, who disclosed this Thursday in Accra, was commissioning the African Consumer Products Limited’s detergent manufacturing plant of Wilmar Africa Group and Kapa Oil Refineries Limited in Tema, on behalf of President Akufo-Addo.
He said the establishment of the new state-of-the-art detergent factory is another sign of the giant steps by the government to make Ghana the new manufacturing hub of Africa.
With an employable capacity of 220 direct jobs and many more in indirect jobs, the plant underscores the strategic importance of the adoption of public-private partnerships in creating jobs and prosperity for the development of the country.
Mr. Kyerematen highlighted that “In pursuit of this, the government recognises the importance of attracting private sector operators to invest in the productive sectors of the Ghanaian economy by taking full advantage of the available local resource endowments, as well as the attractive incentives being offered by the government to support the private sector.”
The new company is expected to boost the government’s strategic effort aimed at import substitution, especially in sectors where there is the local capacity for value addition.
“In 2020 alone, Ghana imported soaps and detergent products worth over $40 million which could easily have been produced locally,” the minister said, adding that “With an installed capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of soap per annum compared to a national demand estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes, this new factory will help bridge the gap between demand and supply of soaps and detergents in the country.”
Additionally, he said, “In the face of the heightened awareness of personal hygiene and care occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the detergent market is set to rise by about 4%, and this company is poised to be a major player in it both in Ghana and globally by taking advantage of the opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
As the host country of the AfCFTA Secretariat and one of the first African Union member states to have signed and ratified the AfCFTA agreement, the minister said the government has taken concrete steps to establish a national AfCFTA office, and developed a comprehensive national action plan to help Ghanaian manufacturers to take full advantage of the opportunities under the AfCFTA.