GUTA Demands Government’s Intervention Over Trade Wars Between Local And Foreign Retailers
The Ghana Union of Traders Association has called on the government to hasten steps to resolve the impasse between Ghanaian and foreign traders in the country. A joint implementation task force between GUTA and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, NUTAG has been established to find a lasting solution to the stalemate
between the Ghanaian traders and also their Nigerian counterparts also engaged in the retail business. But recently, the disagreements were renewed, leading to the closure of foreign owned shops in Koforidua and Accra in the Eastern and the Greater Accra respectively because of stalled negotiations under the task force. In
an interview, Greater Accra Chairman of GUTA, Nana Kwabena Peprah, said the government must convene a meeting urgently also for sanity to prevail. All these happenings are unfortunate, but what I will say is that the leadership is in control. We are talking to the sector associations and asking that the government should
speed up and immediately convene the meeting for the retail trade committee to work and bring sanity. GUTA has in the past made similar calls to the government to bring an end to the banters. Over the years, there have been various disagreements between Ghanaian traders and their counterparts from other countries, particularly
Nigerians. Though there is free trade among ECOWAS countries, Ghana’s laws say a person who is also not a citizen or an enterprise that is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall also not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
The local traders have argued that per Ghana’s laws, foreigners have no right to engage in retail trade within the country, as their activities affect the local retailers negatively. There is also a $1 million minimum capital requirement for foreigners doing business in Ghana, which foreign traders have also raised issues with. The
government also subsequently set up a presidential committee to properly scrutinize all foreigners engaging in trading activities in the country. This has led to the closure of several shops belonging to foreign retailers across the country.