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GUTA: Foreign supermarkets must stock 30% locally made products

The president of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng wants government to review the country's investment laws to compel foreign supermarkets to stock 30% locally made goods

The Ghana Union of Traders Association, (GUTA ) is calling for a revision of the country’s investment laws to help reduce the cyclical depreciation of the Ghana cedi.

Bloomberg last month rated the cedi as the worst-performing currency among Africa’s top currencies. It pegged the depreciation of the Ghana cedi to the Dollar at 8.86% between 1 January 2022 and 25 February 2022.

Speaking with Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday ( 16 March), Obeng said foreign supermarkets in the country must be made to stock 30% of locally made products to help reverse the trend.

“Now, if you see the huge impact of China Mall and the other Chinese trading activities, when they are leaving for their Chinese holidays in January that is when we see the peak of the cedi depreciation, these things are very practical,” he said.

“…The import that we do, the indigenes only do 15%, the rest goes to the expatriate, the big chains of supermarkets and all that, and they are all either from China, South Africa or elsewhere and other foreigners.”

“And we have to revise our investment laws to make sure that these supermarkets …also have a shelf life of about 30% so that they sell made in Ghana goods,” Obeng added.

Watch the full interview below:

Unnecessary speculation affects performance of Ghana Cedi

Meanwhile, Prof Peter Quartey, the director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has attributed the recent sharp depreciation of the Ghana Cedi mainly to unnecessary speculation on the market.

Talking to Kofi Abotsi on TownHall Talk on Asaase Radio 99.5 FM, Quartey said: “Unfortunately for us the downgrade by Fitch has also affected the exchange rate to the extent that investors, some are leaving the market… and that is bringing pressure.”

“But one thing I find very striking, and I think it has to do with us Ghanaians, is the issue of speculation. There are a lot of speculative activities. Once we start making noise about the exchange rate, it gets to a point you don’t even hear the media talk about the exchange rate, then it gets to a time they talk about it every second, every minute.

“Once I hear that really, then quickly whatever I have let me go and exchange and it is really happening, those who do not even intend to import now might import soon. Of course, they are taking rationale decision, so that is not helping us,” Quartey added.

The ISSER boss wants the government to urgently tackle the speculative aspects of the local currency to help reverse the trend.

Fred Dzakpata

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