Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has expressed worry over the influx of foreigners in the retailing business in Koforidua and called for government,s intervention to deal with it.
Mr Harry Oduro Awuku, Eastern Regional Chairman of GUTA, in an interview with GNA, said foreigners had takeover various trades in retail businesses in the regional capital, Koforidua, particularly in the sale of mobile phones and their accessories, contrary to local trade laws.
He said some eight months ago, the task force enforcing regulations against foreigners in retailing business identified a lot of shops being operated by foreigners without requisite documentation.
They were given two weeks to rectify and produce the documents and for inspection.
However, Mr Awuku said that has not been done and the shops were still operating to the detriment of Ghanaian-owned shops.
He called on the task force to close their shops in line with laid down regulations.
He stated that GUTA was not against foreigners doing business in Ghana and for that matter in Koforidua, but their concern was that the law must be allowed to take its course.
He said the law stipulated clearly that foreigners could do only wholesaling and employing not less than five people with a certain threshold and not retailing.
Mr Awuku observed that GIPC Act 865 was explicit on foreigners doing business in Ghana and called on the public to support the union to enforce the law.
He accused those quoting the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of people and goods for fronting for them, saying it was a kind of support to breaching local laws.
He said sometime ago, foreigners were identified doing retailing in spare parts business at the Koforidua magazine, the hub for spare parts, and warned that if the trend was not halted most Ghanaians would be thrown out of business.
He added the resultant effects could have serious repercussions on the economy.
GNA checks at the central business district in Koforidua in the New Juaben South District showed that most of the mobile phone and accessories shops were owned by foreigners who plied their trade in rented shops and containers whiles others sell on trucks moving around.
Owner of a popular phone shop in Koforidua who spoke to GNA on condition of anonymity described the situation as worrying since the foreigners operated like a network – directing customers to their cronies at different locations thereby impeding fair competition.