University Of Tasmania
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Trade facilitation in seaports - A thorough survey of the Ghana Gateway Project

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posted on 2023-05-26, 02:11 authored by Caesar, DL
Trade liberalization has brought in its wake an unprecedented explosion in the volume of world trade. The advent of information technology coupled with containerization equally contributed and continues to fuel an upsurge in international cargo traffic. Over the last decade the importance of trade facilitation (TF) has increased dramatically; with the need to reduce transaction and administration cost as well as expedite cargo movement forming the core elements. The issue of trade facilitation leads to long-term benefit for individuals and businesses. The need to cope with growing international competition has added more gravity to the relevance of trade facilitation in this era of globalization. The study dwelt on trade facilitation in the context of the Ghana Gateway Project (GGWP) ‚Äö- an undertaking by the Government of Ghana (GoG) which seeks to make Ghanaian seaports the gateway to West Africa, among other things. The author argues that there are myriads of endogenous and exogenous variables which militate against trade facilitation in Ghana as the country is earnestly positioning itself to become a part of the global logistics network. It was found that corruption among trade-related institutions especially Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has a huge bearing on realization of trade facilitation objectives under the Ghana Gateway Project (GGWP). Also less focus on institutional bottlenecks under the project means that trade officials are increasingly becoming an obstacle rather than facilitators. Interviews and surveys carried out revealed how Customs officials have transmogrified into opponents of schemes that are instituted to reduce paperwork and duplication of effort within the country's cargo clearance system. The research documents trends and gains with regards to trade facilitation programmes in Ghana. Relevant literatures were given exhaustive reviews with the aim of navigating all relevant elements that form part of trade facilitation. Notable conclusions drawn at the end of the study were that; institutional failure, bribery and corruption, incompetence among stakeholders, lack of adequate control, etc are some of the challenges bedevilling the Ghana Gateway Project (GGWP). The study also unearthed measures that must be implemented to help resuscitate the dwindling fortunes of trade facilitation initiatives in Ghana. The summary of recommendations given is found below: -Establishing a credible system that will reward excellence among Customs officials and punish corrupt officials -Massive investment in the human element of the Ghana Gateway Project (GGWP) by education and training -Tightening control over the entry of people into the freight forwarding industry of Ghana by ensuring that they are adequately qualified -Repeal the freight forwarding law SMCD 188 of 1978 to be in line with new trends on the global stage.


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