The Ghanaian Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises can reap the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) if they strategise their operations before entering into the continent’s free market, Nana Osei Bonsu, Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) has said.
He said businesses in Ghana should identify potential trade opportunities on the continent of which they could fully serve and produce the appropriate goods and services to meet the demand.
In addition to this, he said businesses in the country could make headway if they familiarise themselves with rules of engagement within the free trade area.
Nana Bonsu, who was addressing participants at PEF’s first meeting of the year, added that AfCFTA has numerous business opportunities of which many Ghanaian businesses could tap to promote trade in the country and expand the economy.
“Trade agreement is not easy to understand, so it’s our responsibility as business association or leadership of the business community to make sure that the average business person understands what it takes to increase their opportunities to export and take advantage of this free trade through identifying the challenges and potential,” he added.
Nana Bonsu also advised entrepreneurs in the country not to rely solely on supports the government provide but work hard to expand their businesses, adding that they could also join forces and pull resources together to enter the continent’s market instead of going solo.
“Imagine a business association which puts its members together, adding value to their products and setting up a trading shop in the country representing the business association, you can imagine the volume and the revenue that can be generated,” he added.
In a remark, Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce hinted that only two companies in Ghana have exported goods into the free trade area after AfCFTA became operational in January 2021.
He named Kasapreko Company Limited and Ghandour Cosmetic Limited that started trading after overcoming some challenges.
He suggested that there should be a portal that would inform companies on products that can enter into each African country, the tariff measures associated and tax reliefs one could enjoy.
Juliet Etefe, ISD