The World Bank says additional policy reforms in investment and trade facilitation can further improve trade flows between Ghana and the rest of the sub-region.
In his report on Ghana’s Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic, he urged the government to, among other things, take administrative or regulatory measures to reduce port charges, revise the outdated transhipment regime, reduce the number of police and solve the VAT charge on commercial transit services.
“Several steps are needed to simplify and harmonize import and export procedures, and to overhaul the governance framework of Tema Port,” the report notes.
While commending Ghana’s progress in transport and logistics services where the volume of ocean freight grew by an average of 7.6% per year over the period 2010 to 2020, the Bank called for investments in infrastructure that facilitate container transport.
The report titled “Enhancing Ghana’s Trade Competitiveness in the Context of the AfCFTA” also found that Ghana’s trade regime for goods was restrictive in terms of tariff and non-tariff barrier (NTB) levels.
Compared with other countries in 2019, the report showed that Ghana’s trade-weighted most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff rate was 10.57%, higher than most countries. comparators, with the exception of Kenya, which has a trade-weighted MFN rate of 13.35%.
“The number of non-tariff measures (NTMs) imposed by Ghana is higher than in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire but lower than levels in Vietnam, although further analysis is needed to determine to what extent NTMs are applied in a discriminatory manner,” the report said. .
Speaking at the launch of the report in Accra, Mr. Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said regional integration, digital innovation and trade policy were essential to driving Ghana’s economic transformation agenda.
The country, he added, could enhance its trade competitiveness and maximize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and Global Value Chain (GVC) through the removal of undue barriers. tariffs, implementing trade facilitation reforms and improving the regulatory framework for services.
Mr. Herbert Krappa, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said the findings of the diagnostic report were a wake-up call for the government as it pursues its transformation agenda.
“The government will continue to intensify our best efforts to improve the competitiveness of our merchandise trade. We will continue to invest in trade-related infrastructure, including ICT digital trade,” he said.