Ghana-Based Think Tank Urges Government to Enforce Free Trade Agreements as Country Sets Sights on Foreign Direct Investment

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Imani, a Ghana-based think tank, has called on the country’s government to enforce a set of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in order to grow the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities and improve the livelihoods of its people.

Imani, which was ranked the second most influential think tank in Africa in 2015 by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, has released its latest report, which assesses Ghana’s trade regime by identifying whether the West African nation has been able to utilise her Free Trade Agreements.

Ghana is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a signatory to the African, Caribbean, and Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) Partnership Agreement, a trade and aid agreement between the European Union and 46 of Europe’s former colonies and dependencies.

In a statement issued on October 24th, 2017, Imani said that Free Trade Agreements have the potential to increase economic growth, promote a more dynamic business environment and increase foreign direct investment (FDI).

Imani officials added that FTAs must be complemented by sound local policies that promote a sustainable business environment.

According to Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Gifty Klenam, the country is set to generate $10 billion from Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in the next four years. Klenam, said last month that the Authority was developing and promoting exports vigorously, by identifying additional products with significant export potential in in the country’s various districts.

“There is a significant room for improvement if GEPA’s $10 billion by 2021 Non-Traditional Export target is to be reached,” said Imani officials in a statement issued on October 24th.

The group noted that there is must be continued coordination between the private and public sectors in activities in order to see the program through.

Imani officials added that Ghana’s government, through the Ghana Standards Authority, must begin the process of inculcating international standards within the local market.

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