The Eastern Region branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA has warned that together with their members across the country will resist any attempt to review the GIPC Act, (Act 865), as it seeks to protect Ghanaian traders.
According to the branch Chairman, Mr Harry Oduro Awuku, who spoke to Kwaku Aboagye Apenteng on Freedom Radio’s ‘’Yen Man’’ show he stated that they were not going to accept any decision to amend the Act.
‘’We have decided that officially we will send a letter to the police informing them of a peaceful protest to send a petition to parliament and send a copy to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo that we are not going to accept any decision aimed at changing the law’’, he said.
Stating that there is no way that the interest of foreigners will be paramount to that of the citizens of the country.
This is in reaction to a statement made by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, to have the Act looked at and according to GUTA, the Speaker has no right to have made such a statement as Nigeria has taken stiffer measures to protect its businesses as they closed the country’s borders for several months.
The President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng, at a press conference in Accra, had said the Act which was passed in 1994, was to strategically position Ghanaian businesses to create employment and prevent dumping.
He said Ghana has signed onto different trade protocols such as ECOWAS and AfCFTA, and all these will be a mirage if governments on the continent do not align to promote industrialization in the African continent.
Dr Obeng emphasized that GUTA will not relent in its efforts to ensure that only qualified foreigners engage in legitimate businesses in the country.
He said “Ghana has her investment laws that drive investments to her preferred destination such as high technological know-how and capital-intensive areas, manufacturing sector and agriculture mechanization’’, he said.
He said the retail trade sector is consciously and strategically reserved for the citizens of Ghana, to prevent unemployment, especially, for those who cannot be employed in the main streams, public and civil services and other white colour jobs.
He said the trading community will therefore not allow any person, or institution that may have a perceived agenda to amend the GIPC Act, (Act 865) to please other countries to the disadvantage of the Ghanaian trader.
Dr Obeng stressed that it will be imperative that the cardinal principles of the various treaties signed, such as the Rules of origin, are upheld to the letter. He said the issue of excessive importation can only be dealt with if these issues are given critical attention.
He said the Association will not agree to any intervention that seeks to open the country’s market up to illegitimate foreign retailers.
‘’Members of the trading community have never and will never prevent any African in our midst from trading freely in goods and services that are produced in member states, but will fiercely resist any abuse of the rules of origin by any member state,” he said.
Source: Kwame Akoto/ freedomradiogh.com