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Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 10pm

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Businesses call off planned strike on Wednesday

The planned joint strike action by various business associations in the country on Wednesday March 4, 2015 has been called off.

This followed a meeting with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) on Tuesday morning that ended with the suspension of the proposed implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) and the Advance Shipment Information (ASHI) programmes to allow for deeper consultation with stakeholders.

The businesses had planned to close shops and hit the streets to protest the proposed implementation of the G-CAP and ASHI among other issues that related to the cost of doing business.

According to the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Mr George Ofori, they were pushing for a total cancellation of those two programmes but since in the meantime, the ministry has suspended it, they have also decided to call off the strike.

They have since asked all businesses to open for normal work on Wednesday and requested that members should ignore any dealings with ASHI or G-CAP in the meantime as negotiations continue.

Mr Ofori argued that there was no need for G-CAP since the same work was being done by the destination inspection companies.

Meanwhile a statement issued by the Trade Ministry on Tuesday said it recognised and appreciates some of the challenges businesses were going through at the moment but wishes to appealled to the various associations not to aggravate the country’s economic situation by withdrawing their commercial services from customers, suppliers and various business stakeholders who have caused them no harm.

It said the Ministry of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to address most of their concerns.

“The associations are aware of the leadership role MOTI is taking to fight for the reduction of interest rate, to decongest the harbour by reducing the number of operators there, as well as promote Made-in-Ghana goods so as to increase the demand for local production and to strengthen employment,” it said.

It said the Ministry has also suspended the implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) to allow for deeper consultation with stakeholders.

Indeed, the leaders of several associations have been involved in numerous interactions with MOTI as we work towards the aforementioned interventions.

It noted that at a time when Ghana was making progress in “ease of Doing Business” rankings, as well as “attractiveness to Foreign Investment”, embarking on a strike will give Ghana a negative reputation in international business circles, as the intended strike would affect the various international partners and interlocutors of the business and industry players.

Again, with recent announcement of the successful IMF negotiations with government, which is expected to inject a large volume of new public and private sector capital into the country, the decision of the business associations to go on strike could be misconstrued to mean a disappointment with the success of the IMF negotiations and an organised effort to undermine the national economy, it observed.

It said in his recent state of the nation address, President John Dramani Mahama pledged to fix the energy crises and outlined plans the government has initiated to increase Ghana’s generation capacity by over 3,000 megawatts.

Based on this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry “wishes to appeal to the various commercial and industry groups to use all available channels of negotiations with relevant government agencies, rather than take actions that will reduce Ghana’s GDP growth, cause unemployment, dislocate various business and industry value chains and worsen Ghana’s economic prospects.


Daily Graphic

 

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