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Business News of Saturday, 31 July 2021

Source: GNA

Government will continue to support AfCFTA implementation

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

The government says Ghana will continue to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative aimed at accelerating intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market.

Through its Secretariat located here in Accra, and the cooperation of African Union member states, the AfCFTA has successfully completed Phase 1 negotiations, with negotiations for Phase 2 ongoing.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance said Phase 1 Negotiations included protocol on Trade in Goods; protocol on Trade in Services; and protocol on Rules and Procedures for Settlement of Disputes.

Mr Ofori-Atta was presenting the 2021 Mid-year fiscal policy review of the budget statement and economic policy of the government to Parliament on Thursday.

The Phase 2 Negotiations will include a protocol on competition policy; protocol on intellectual property rights; and protocol on investments.

The Minister said 54 Member States had signed and 40 Member States had ratified the Agreement as of July 2021, while Seychelles, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi had expressed optimism to join by September 2021.

"A number of 41 Countries have submitted tariff offers and 33 State parties and non-State parties have submitted their initial offers to the AfCFTA Secretariat," he added.

He said there was the need to engage private sector actors and educate them on peculiar issues such as customs procedures, clearance of goods, and transportation.

The Minister said much collaboration was needed to spur up sensitization of AfCFTA activities.