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Foreigners Not Legally Barred From Retail Trade   
 
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09-Nov-2014  
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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has said that there is no law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail trade in the country.

Rather, he said, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, Act 865, prevented expatriates from doing petty trading in designated markets and not retail trade and therefore called on the media to report adequately on the law.

“There is no law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail trading activities. Rather, the law is clear on the fact that they should not engage in petty trading activities at a particular geographical market in any part of the country.

“This is what the media has not been able to report sufficiently on all this while,” Dr Spio-Garbrah said, when the executive of the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) called on him at the ministry last Wednesday.

Dr Spio-Garbrah added that the GIPC law allowed foreigners to trade in the country provided they had US$1million in goods or cash to be ascertained by customs clearance forms or certified by the Bank of Ghana.

Contentious issue

This contentious issue comes in the wake of the concerns raised by members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on foreigners engaging in retail trade in recent times.

Some members of the Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union (TGLWU) have also raised concerns about the influx of pirated textiles into the country.

Already, a task force has been set up by the ministry to check expatriates who engage in petty trading activities in the country.
Purpose of visit

The purpose of the visit was to officially congratulate the minister on his new appointment and to introduce the new executive and council members of the association to the minister.

It was also used as an opportunity to call on the minister to help speed up the passage of the Advertising Standards Bill (ASB) which seeks to regulate the practice of the profession in the country.

The minister also raised concerns about Ghanaians’ high preference for foreign products, saying that there was the need for stakeholders such as the AAG to collaborate with the ministry to do a thorough research to help address the situation.

He indicated that preaching about the patronage of locally manufactured products was not enough. He called on the people to actually buy the products and also employ the services of Ghanaians.

Dr Spio-Garbrah assured the executive of the AAG that the ministry would do its best to ensure the passage of the ASB into law.
Skills and expertise

The President of the AAG, Mr Joel Nettey, emphasised the association’s readiness to assist the ministry to conduct comprehensive research as far as the patronage of made-in-Ghana goods were concerned.

He stated that members of the AAG had the skill and expertise to come up with proper structures and processes to ensure that the government’s agenda of high patronage of locally manufactured products by Ghanaians came into fruition.
Quick read

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has emphasised that there is no law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail trade in the country, and has urged the media to report adequately on the matter.
Pull quote

“There is no law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail trading activities. Rather, the law is clear on the fact that they should not engage in petty trading activities at a particular geographical market in any part of the country.”
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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