The choice of Ghana for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat will rapidly promote the country as an attractive investment destination and actively boost foreign direct investments, according to Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry.
He was presenting at paper on, "Accessing the African common market through Ghana: Technology, Digitisation and Industrialisation", at the just-ended 2020 Ghana Investment Opportunities Summit in London.
Mr Kyrematen affirmed that by hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat, Ghana would definitely attract major international financial institutions, and that would in turn boost the country's status as the preferred location for the corporate headquarters of international companies doing business in Africa.
"The AfCFTA will open up new market access opportunities under preferential terms for Ghanaian producers, particularly small and medium scale enterprises," he told the summit delegates.
Apart from that, Mr Kyrematen projected that AfCFTA would enhance government's current industrial development agenda and contribute significantly to the diversification of the Ghanaian economy.
"Ghana will have the opportunity of hosting various regional and continental meetings and other events associated with the AfCFTA, in addition to enjoying many other collateral benefits which would enhance income and spending levels of many Ghanaians," he added.
According to Mr Kyrematen, AfCFTA is the most significant development in Africa since the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
He explained that the duty-free and quota-free single market covering the entire African continent would increase intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade within the African sub region.
"It is estimated that intra-African trade will increase by as much as US$35 billion per annum or 52 per cent by 2022", Mr Kyrematen added.
He said that Ghana, through its comprehensive, multi-sectoral programme for economic transformation had demonstrated its readiness to become the gateway to Africa within the framework of the AfCFTA.
The agreement on the AfCFTA was signed in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
It has four components - the Framework Agreement; Protocol on Goods; Protocol on Services and Protocol on Disputes Settlement.
AfCFTA came into force in May 2019 and its operational phase was launched in July 2019.
Ghana was selected to host the Secretariat of the AFCFTA in July 2019