GUTA to AGI: We need to work together as partners

GUTA and AGI have been at each other’s throats in recent times over implementation of the benchmark value policy, introduced by the government in 2019

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) is urging the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to view it as a partner in the industrial and trading sector of the economy and not as a rival.

For some time now, AGI and GUTA have disagreed on the implementation of the 50% benchmark value on imports introduced by the government in 2019.

Whereas AGI is vehemently opposed to the policy, whose cardinal objective is to reduce the cost of doing business at the ports and increase compliance in payment of duties and taxes, GUTA insists the policy is a good one and should stay.

In an interview with Asaase Business, Joseph Paddy, GUTA’s director of communications, said AGI should realign its posture to reflect a sense of collaboration between the two entities.

“We don’t want the posture of AGI. Their posture is like we’re [AGI and GUTA] rivals, but they should know that manufacturing is not complete until you get to the final consumer, and in between that we play a major role as distributors and retailers. So, we expect AGI to see us [GUTA] more like partners rather than rivals,” he said.

He added, “We [GUTA] have identified AGI’s problem as the cost of borrowing in doing production and utility tariffs that are high. And these are the things we should look at so that government can help them to become competitive in the world market.

“So, what can we do to help AGI so that, between their competitors, the margin will not be so wide?

“And also, do they have the capacity to meet the demand of consumers? So, these are some of the challenges that we have to help AGI deal with,” he said.

AGI has cited the lack of capacity-building as a major constraint to local content in Ghana.

Nicholas Brown

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