Labour urges government to check ‘over-liberalised trade regime’

Labour unions in Ghana have urged the government to support the local industry by making the current trade policy more favourable to Ghanaian businesses.

In a statement on President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA), the unions, under the umbrella of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) noted that Ghana’s trade policy, in its current form, exposes the local industries to unfair competition.

“No country ever achieved industrialisation with such an over-liberalised trade regime. It is time to change it and make our own environment more conducive to local businesses,” the TUC said in the release.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has been expressing similar sentiments.

In November last year,angry members of the Association locked up about 52 shops

belonging to foreigners at the Opera Square in Accra.

They called on the government to enforce the law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail businesses in Ghana.

On the macroeconomic front, the TUC statement on the 2020 SONA noted that the achievements of the current administration are remarkable because the gains in macroeconomic management and the positive outlook for Ghana’s economy signal the country’s determination to become economically independent in the shortest time possible.

“That means the possibility of Ghana going back to IMF for financial support is becoming more remote, provided we manage to consolidate the gains and pursue the President’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid with the vigour it deserves,” the TUC averred.

It said Ghana has a long way to go to ensure that the gains in macroeconomic management reflect in the lives of each and every Ghanaian.

According to the TUC, the gains must reflect in Ghana’s Human Development Index (HDI).

“We have a long way to go because there are over 10 million Ghanaians who are currently eking out a living from precarious economic activities in Ghana’s extra-large informal economy. We still have a long way to go to provide water to a very significant number of Ghanaians who have no access to clean water and sanitation. We have a long way to go because millions of Ghanaians are still living below the international poverty line of US$2 a day despite our enormous wealth,” the TUC statement said.