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Transit trade contributing largely to Ghana’s economy – GSA

Transit Trade has over the years become a significant component of Ghana’s seaborne trade and has delivered tangible benefits to the economy of Ghana.

Contrary to the widely held perception that Ghana does not derive any benefits from the Transit Trade through its corridors, the outcome of a Ghana Shippers’ Authority study in 2015 showed that tangible financial benefits accrued to operators along the transit logistics chain.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Ms. Benonita Bismarck, disclosed this at a stakeholders sensitization seminar on transit trade dubbed “Streamlining Processes for the Growth of Transit Trade in Ghana.”

She said transit trade volumes in the year accounted for approximately 1 million metric tons out of Ghana’s cargo throughout of 17 million metric tons and the study showed an estimated total revenue of $24 million accrued to the Ghanaian economy from some of the quantifiable services provided by various operators involved in the delivery of transit services.

“These were payments for services in relation to the handling of transit cargo from both Tema and Takoradi Ports, State Insurance Company (SIC), the National Guarantor for the bond value, fees to Ghanaian Haulage truckers, operators of the electronic tracking device and for Freight Forwarders services,” she said.

Providing an outset background to the transit trade and the legal obligations imposed on littoral states, the Chief Executive Officer of the GSA disclosed that “recognizing the need for geographically disadvantaged states to have access to the sea-coasts for the shipment of their international trade, the international community has put together a comprehensive body of legislations, protocols and agreements to regulate the relationship between nations on matters relating to transit trade.”

“And there are a number of other entities that benefit directly from transit trade including Fuel Stations, Hotels, Restaurants operators etc. All these help boost the economy and enhance the livelihood of Ghanaians,” she added.

According to her, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority is championing the facilitation of transit trade through Ghana’s corridors and some specific activities that have engaged the authority over the years include the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with neighboring landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, quarterly meetings with representatives of the Shippers Councils of these countries, hosting of E-Platform for addressing Non-Tariff Barriers on the corridor, sensitization workshops for transit drivers and Transit Shipper Committee (TSC).

In an exclusive interview with 24NEWS.NEWS, Ms. Benonita Bismarck also disclosed that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on its part also organizes periodic trade missions involving key stakeholder organizations to these countries to engage with economic operators to promoting the Ghana’s ports.

This effort, she said,is against the backdrop that the Tema and Takoradi Ports face competition from its neighbouring ports of Lome, Abidjan, and Cotonou Ports for the same Transit Cargo.

She added that the anticipated increase in transit trade volumes have also been factored in the justification for the colossal investments in the port expansion projects currently underway.

BY: RAMATU YAKUBU//24NEWS.NEWS//GHANA

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