3 July 2012

Ghana: Taskforce to Clampdown On Foreign Traders Today - Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh

Photo: The Presidency of the Republic of Ghana
President Interacts With Market Women

After calling off enforcing the law banning foreign traders in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), the Inter-Agencies Task Force says it would enforce the law on foreigners operating in Ghana's retail business sector today Tuesday, July 3, 2012.

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms. Hannah Tetteh, said the monitoring exercise by the Inter-Agencies Task Force would ensure that non-Ghanaians fully complied with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) laws.

"The task force will move in the markets to shut down shops of non-Ghanaians who flout the laws of the land," she said.

Ms. Tetteh noted that the provisions in the GIPC Act 478 was applicable to Ghanaians and citizens of the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS), hence the need for non-Ghanaians to comply with the minimum investment requirement of $300,000.

She, however, stated that the monitoring exercise was not an attempt to destabilise the peaceful investment atmosphere for businesses to flourish, and called on interested investors to abide by the laws of the country.

The sector Minister stressed: "The law does not single out citizens of any particular country for compliance. The exercise is to ensure that non-Ghanaians engaged in trading abide by the laws, as their Ghanaian counterparts do."

Ms. Tetteh said it was the government's duty to protect the interests of the citizenry, and ensure that non-Ghanaians obeyed the laws and contributed to the country's development.

She told journalists in Accra that a team from the ECOWAS Parliament would visit Ghana to monitor events on the new development, adding that the Ministry would give full credence to the provisions of the protocols to prevent breach of signatory.

Ms Tetteh, therefore, called on non-Ghanaians and Ghanaians to register their business entities with the Ghana Revenue Authority and Registrar General's Department.

The implementation of the GIPC Act 478, which is aimed at ensuring Ghanaians are not pushed out of business by foreign nationals, has irked some Nigerians and other ECOWAS nationals in the sub-region.

Recently, Nigeria, West Africa's largest economy, threatened to server diplomatic ties with Ghana.

But, Ghana's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, who said he was unaware of moves to sever diplomatic ties, said his country had not violated the rights of foreign businesses by implementing the GIPC Act.

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