The new National Executives of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI),
on Tuesday, 10th November 2020, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey to formally introduce themselves to her and strengthen the Chamber’s already existing relationship with the Ministry.
The GNCCI has over the years collaborated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on numerous programs, trade fairs, trade missions, etc; and the President of the GNCCI, whilst giving his speech at the meeting, called for the strengthening of the aforementioned collaboration since it would go a long way to improve trade and investment between the private sector in Ghana and the rest of the world.
In light of the ongoing discussions to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, the President urged Ghanaian businesses to reposition themselves self to enable them do a lot of business within the continent, thereby, growing the economy and strengthening the Cedi.
The collaboration between the Chamber and the Ministry, which is the frontline actor in the ongoing negotiations, will see to it that the terms of trade and investment are beneficial to the Private Sector.
In response, the Minister congratulated the new National Executives for being elected to steer affairs of the GNCCI and assured them of the Ministry’s continuous support.
She continued by admonishing businesses in Ghana to take advantage of the AfCFTA because it gives Ghana a ready market worth 1.2 billion US dollars. This, she believes, will go a long way to make the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, which relies greatly on trade and investment, a reality.
She also stated that the Government was in consultation with some financial institutions to establish a Guarantee Scheme of up to GH¢2 billion to help businesses access loans from banks at affordable rates and for longer durations, in order to retain jobs and save businesses that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
On the subject of the impact of COVID-19 on Ghanaian businesses, she mentioned that the Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, has been put in place to to mitigate the effects of the Pandemic. “The Programme has a two-step phase, namely, a stabilisation phase and a revitalisation phase. Under the stabilisation phase, the Government is extending the duration or coverage of some of the programmes already put in placeto ease the burden on businesses”, she revealed.