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United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has commended Ghana for its progress on trade facilitation. 

According to the UN Conference, Ghana's experience as a trailblazer on Trade Facilitation could serve as a model for the region. 

Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD's Secretary General made this known during the Ghana National Conference on the Single Window and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement organized by West Blue Consulting. 

Ghana is one of the frontrunners in the region implementing the single window system, spearheaded by West Blue Consulting in collaboration with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Mr. Kituyi said the implementation of trade facilitation reforms, including in areas like the single window is key for strengthening regional integration in Africa and is in itself an inescapable must-have for the continent's efforts to boost intra-African trade, increase productive capacities and structural transformation for sustainable development.

"An efficient and effective customs administration is at the heart of any trade facilitation reform. I commend Ghana for its progress on trade facilitation", he said. 

Sharing Experience

Dr. Kituyi also called for the sharing of regional experiences and highlighted the value in learning from the ECOWAS case.

"As had been seen in East and Southern Africa, the top down approach could only go so far, said Dr. Kituyi, adding that "bottom-up efforts and national leadership, particularly in cooperation with the private sector, are needed and go much farther in driving a meaningful locally owned regional integration agenda", he said. 

Ghana is one of the original signatories to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which came into force recently. 

The WTO estimated that the Agreement would generate more than a trillion dollars in benefits annually and that the majority of these benefits would accrue to developing economies.

Phase II of Ghana Single Window

The implementation of the second phase of the Single Window in Ghana is expected to reduce time and cost of trade related procedures by 50 percent resulting in annual savings of over US$ 120 million.

Alan's Admission

Alan Kyeremanteng, Minister of Trade and Industry, was the keynote speaker at the Ghana National Single Window said Trade Facilitation is a cornerstone of the government's trade and economic development agenda. 

"We believe it will greatly assist Ghana in reaching our full potential as a leading trading nation, both regionally and globally, and that this in turn will create strong earnings and employment growth within the country," he said. 

UNCTAD Visits Akufo Addo

During the two-day conference, Dr. Kituyi paid a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo-Addo, and renewed UNCTAD's commitment to deepening collaboration with Ghana including in the key areas of strengthening ports capacity, institutional support for implementation of trade facilitation reforms, entrepreneurship under UNCTAD's EMPRETEC programme, and policy development in key trade related areas including in the cotton sector.

Dr. Kituyi also visited the Dignity DTRT (DoTheRightThing), Ghana's key textile industry currently manufacturing garments for the International market; with a workforce of 1500 people most of who are women.

Single Window Benefits

The National Single Window enhances the potential for foreign direct investment in countries and links, in a seamless and electronic manner, information flow between importing and exporting traders importing on the one hand, and the relevant government authorities on the other, making trade processes more efficient, transparent and cost effective.

According to the UNCTAD, investing in the implementation of trade facilitation reforms is also key for realizing the SDGs, in particular SDG 9 on infrastructure, innovation and industry.

GRA Revenue Increases

Revenue collection by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has increased by more than 28 percent as at the end of 2016.

This increment is due to the introduction of the National Single Window Project which has been complementing the efforts of the Customs in harmonizing operations at the ports.
Source: New Crusading Guide

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