GHANA TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS RANKINGS BY NEXT RATING PERIOD – HON AHOMKA-LINDSAY
When the World Bank releases its upcoming competitiveness report in the ease of doing business index, Ghana would have moved from a low of 108th to the 45th position.
This is because the Ministry of Trade and Industry has taken some pragmatic steps, including the launch of a Business Regulations Strategy (BRS) aimed at eliminating constraints to economic development, deepening and broadening current reform efforts in order to establish a national regulatory environment that sustainably reduces red-tape and barriers and better promotes private sector activity and job creation.
Most importantly, reform efforts directed at improving Ghana’s performance in four out of ten indicators in the World Bank Doing Business Report have already been completed. These are “Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, and Trading across Borders” which are all fundamental to entrepreneurship, manufacturing and trade competitiveness.
Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay (who deputised for the sector Minister) made these remarks at the 2nd Annual National Trade Facilitation Awards held in Accra.
The event, jointly organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) was held under the theme ‘’Deployment of e-applications for the efficient and paperless processing of trade and customs transactions’’. The theme comes on the heels of a directive from the Vice President for an implementation of electronic transaction at the ports, ensuring a 100% paperless transaction and removal of human interfaces as a means to reducing corruption and encouraging businesses to grow.
According to the Deputy Minister, a key factor in the economic development of any country is the establishment of an effective, efficient and globally recognized trade facilitation regime that facilitates trade, ensures the removal of red-tapes across national boundaries and sets the platform for private sector participation in global trade.
He stressed that it is for the above reason that Government is bent on achieving the September 1st, 2017 paperless deadline, as the benefits to accrue are enormous, ranging from reduced cost of shipping goods across borders and enhanced collections of fees, duties and penalties; to more comprehensive, streamlined and automated business compliance to Government legislative and regulatory requirements, including the terms of international trade treaties.
Hon Ahomka-Lindsay emphasised that his Ministry recognises that competition fosters innovation and that rewarding excellence will propel enterprises to constantly develop products and services with the aim of meeting customers’ requirements. It is for that reason that the Ministry of Trade and Industry partnered with GCNet to organise the Awards. He greatly commended the GCNet team for such a novel initiative.
The Executive Chairman of GCNet, Dr. Nortey Omaboe, asserted that the robust and reliable infrastructure deploying e-solutions of GCNet which have stood the test of time was a testament to the tenacity and commitment of the Company and its partners.
He recalled that for 15 years GCNet, has been the pioneer and at the fore front of delivering the infrastructure of a seamless single Window and e- solutions platforms that have transformed Customs clearance processes from manual through to semi-automation and now fully automated with the deployment of the Ghana Customs Management Systems, Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance Systems, eMDA portal, e- Transit services, e-Tax, e-Registration among others to change the face of doing business in Ghana. He noted that these system deployments have been critical and will continue to account for 98% of all Ghana Revenue Authority revenue mobilized for national development and the economic performance of the country.
He expressed GCNet’s readiness and poise to give full effect to the pursuit of the paperless transactions regime expected to come into force from September 1, 2017, as it is on record that GCNet provided a paperless clearance system several years earlier, and won a World Customs Organisation Award as far back as January 2014.
In all, ten deserving companies and individuals won awards on the night. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) was awarded the best Ministry, Department and Agency category. Buvensa Company Limited emerged as the best transitor while Tesco West Africa was the Best Exporter.
Whereas Bollore Africa Logistics Ghana limited and Adu Max Limited emerged as the best large and medium freight forwarder, Golden Team Ventures Limited picking the freight forwarder for small businesses category.
Grimaldi Ghana Limited and Antrak Ghana Limited (Takoradi) received the best shipping line for the Large and Small business categories.
The Best Terminal Operator at the Tema port went to Safebond Car Terminal Limited with the Best Terminal Operator at the Kotoka International Airport going to Swissport.
Mr. Gabriel Atobaah emerged as the Overall Best student in freight forwarding.