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Government Is Committed To Facilitate Trade - Murtala   
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Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohamed
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Government has re-affirmed its readiness to establish a system to facilitate business transactions of exporters and importers in an effective manner, Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohamed, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry has said.

“Government will do everything possible to reduce frustrations at the borders for exporter or importers to ensure that the interest of consumers and producers, as well as mobilizing the needed revenue for the country,” he added.

The Deputy Minister gave the assurance at the National Single Window Conference organized by the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet), in collaboration with the African Alliance for e-Commerce in Accra.

The conference, supported by the World Bank. was on the theme: “The Impact of Single Window on Ghana’s Economic Development.”

The objective of the conference was to deliberate on the outcome of the Peer Review, and chart the way forward in improving the value supply chain, as well as offer recommendations to improve on trade facilitation metrics in the country.

Mr Mohammed said within the context of United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business Recommendation 33, a Single Window is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point, to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.

He explained that single window has an impact on any economy by virtue of the value it brings to trade facilitation efforts of which GCNet has been at the forefront since 2002.

The Deputy Minister said the concept of peer review in the field of IT amongst single window operators is an innovation worth emulating because it offers a self-audit on the single window operator to adopt continuous improvement in trade processes.

Mr Mohammed said the voluntary submission to the peer review mechanism by five countries namely, Ghana, Senegal, Mauritius, Madagascar and Cameroun are bold attestation to their resolve to open up their systems for external scrutiny.

He noted that the Logistics Performance Index and the trading across borders’ report of the World Bank Doing Business report for Ghana can be improved by instituting systems around the Logistics chain to augment the processes within the pre-clearance and clearance formalities.

Mr Emmanuel Darko, Executive Director of GCNet, said the African Peer Review Mechanism is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union as a self-monitoring mechanism founded in 2003.

The mandate of the peer review is to encourage conformity with regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African countries.

He said AAEC guidelines for single window Implementation in Africa suggest three models which include single windows for clearance formalities, logistics coordination and business to business transactions.

He said single window systems had been identified as an important tool to enhance cross-border trade and that many developing countries in Africa have adopted the reform as the best way to improve the performance of good clearance at their borders and Ports.

Mrs Birgit Viohl, World Bank Consultant for the African Peer Review, said the AAEC with support from the World Bank had devised a methodology for the assessment of the impact of single window in Trade processes.

Mrs Viohl said the assessment was critical because it would assist countries to develop an evaluation tool to quicken the improvement of trade processes in their respective countries.
Source: GNA

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