Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) said, the era of fighting other Nationals on trade restrictions is a thing of the past hence there is the need for government to look at possible ways of empowering local traders for them to be able to compete with foreign traders in the country now that the African Continental Free Trade Area the (AfCFTA) is here.
The Group called on the government to create an enabling economic environment, provide financial support and a reduced interest rate on borrowings with the banks in order to make Ghanaian traders competitive.
Addressing a Press Conference in Accra yesterday, General Secretary of the Group, Nana Poku averred that “AfCFTA has come to stay and the earlier the government collaborates with Traders to promote our Local Traders the better it will be for all of us.”
He revealed that the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) has invested heavily in a Robust Software that has captured the details of all members registered on this database.
With that, he noted that the Private sector must be empowered, and the High interstate rates be taken closer look at.
“The Banks are afraid to lend; borrowers are afraid to go in for loans because of the high interest rates. So how can we compete? If the situation persists, there is no way but for us to run into poverty,” he laments.
He said TAGG is asking for a new economic paradigm shift which provides the needed support for its members based on the biometric data it has put in place which makes it easy for proper identification of traders.
Nana Poku called on government to collaborate with the Group and come up with a Comprehensive Support package and system to make them relevant in business.
He said: “The solution lies in having a deliberate discourse that will shape our economy such that our local Traders will have the financial muscle and Technical know-how in their field of trade to remain relevant. Earlier this year, the President of the Republic assented to a new Insurance Act, 2021 (Act 1061) which repeals the Insurance Act, 2006 (Act 724). One of the key changes that this new Act seeks to do is the introduction of a Compulsory Marine Insurance Cover to be provided by local Insurers on all goods imported into the country except on goods for personal effect.”
He said, because TAGG has the full database of all traders in the Association especially Importers, they are almost done with signing an agreement with a local Insurance Company to put all their members especially Importers under one umbrella and which will give them a Good offer or Insurance Package based on their data.
He revealed that, “In the next couple of weeks, we will be launching this new partnership with the Insurance Company on the packages they have for our importers,” and called on all traders who really mean business and are not registered with TAGG to do so.
Also, President of TAGG, Mr. Kwadwo Amoateng on his part indicated that the world of economy in this era desperately needs a plan for “Peaceful coexistence” between traders both locally and internationally, and that “It is important that as Traders operating in the country accepts the rights of others indigenous if they operate within the confines of the law.”
“We at TAGG is of the view that our country and for that matter our local Traders fall far behind the rest of the world in trade performance due to high interest rate, regulatory barriers, volatile economic situations and institutional constraints to mention just a few,” he said.
TAGG has registered over 6000 Traders and about 54 other associations and their members across all the 16 regions of the country so far.
By Prosper AGBENYEGA