The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says it supports plans by the government to restrict the importation of some 22 products.
A Legislative Instrument on Export and Import Regulations, 2023, is to be laid in Parliament today, Thursday, 30 November 2023, by Trade Minister K.T. Hammond.
If it sails through, it would restrict the importation of rice, guts, bladders, and stomachs of animals (offals), poultry, animal and vegetable oil; margarine, fruit juices, soft drink, mineral water, noodles and pasta.
The other products to be affected include ceramic tiles, corrugated paper and paper board; mosquito coil and insecticides; soaps and detergents; motor cars, iron and steel; cement, polymers (plastics and plastic products), fish, sugar; clothing and apparel, biscuits and canned tomatoes.
There is some resistance to the L.I. by six business associations but speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho, the National President of AGI, Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darkey, said “a recent legislative instrument that has been tabled by the Minister of Trade is facing significant opposition, but the Association of Ghana Industries believes that is the way to bring competitiveness to our country and therefore we have pledged our support to the Minister of Trade and the L.I that has been tabled as much as the principle is correct.”
“We believe issues regarding implementation can still be deliberated on where the committee and the chair of the committee and the reporting procedures regarding tabling of applications, the processes, and the role of the Minster of Trade and Industry to accept or deny applications for restricted products can be further discussed and brought to bear on our economy”, he said.
A Joint Business Consultative Forum comprising the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), believes the move is detrimental to their operations.
They said it would have "negative impact on the prices of goods" and also "disrupt the free flow of goods", and potentially "harm to businesses".