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Single Window To Enhance Port Operations — Bawumia
 
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04-Oct-2017  
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The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
 
 
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The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has expressed optimism that the effective implementation of the single widow platform will make port operations efficient and significantly enhance revenue generation for the country.

The system, which ensures paperless clearing processes at the country’s ports, he said, would not only enhance risk analysis of imports and trade balances but also eliminate corruption and reduce the cost of doing business.

“The goal of the government is to build the most business friendly economy within Africa. In doing this, we are taking steps to bring fiscal discipline to the management of our economy to provide a stable and predictable environment for businesses to grow,” Dr Bawumia said when he opened the Sixth International Single Window Conference in Accra on Tuesday.

Conference

The African Alliance for E-Commerce organised the conference, in collaboration with the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The three-day conference and exhibition, on the theme: “Trade facilitation agreement and e-Commerce development: The role of single window as a catalyst”, drew delegates from West and Central Africa, Singapore, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).

It seeks to highlight latest developments in cross-border electronic commerce (e-Commerce) and the role of single window in trade facilitation and chain.

It is also aimed at raising awareness of the implementation of the single window concept within the global trade chain and its contribution to the improvement of inter-country trade.

Unnecessary bottlenecks

Dr Bawumia explained that reforms being carried out in the business environment, especially along the customs architecture and trade facilitation, were to eliminate unnecessary bottlenecks which sought to create an unfriendly environment which resulted in significant demurrage charges on imports.

He said the single window trade facilitation model also required a more harmonised approach in the deployment of technology and digital applications as a coordinating tool for international trade.

For his part, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said the single window concept ought to be seen as a trade facilitative measure that permitted traders and transporters to submit all data needed for admitting goods in a single portal.

“It, therefore, places a heavy responsibility on us, as a government, parliamentarians, policy makers, experts and global practitioners, to manage the single window and help eliminate the tendency of causing multiple data submission by various border authorities and agencies,” he said.

To that end, he said, there was the need for a co-operative arrangement between Customs and other government institutions involved in international trade to facilitate a seamless transfer of international trade data and exchange of risk intelligence at both national and international levels.

GCNET

Taking his turn to speak at the event, the Executive Chairman of the GCNet, Dr Nortey Omaboe, said there was the need for new benchmarks towards the attainment of the goals under the World Trade Facilitation Agreement and other relevant protocols within the World Customs Organisation (WCO) framework.

He said the importance of trade growth and revenue mobilisation for national development hinged on single windows, adding: “However, the subject of what constitutes a single window is still a source of controversy in Ghana.”

Dr Omaboe called for policy measures to allow technology service providers to develop innovative information technology solutions to ensure greater efficiency in e-governance and trade processes and general commercial transactions.

Advice

The Technical Officer in charge of Compliance and Facilitation at the WCO, Mr Pashupati Pandey, advised Ghana to ensure a high level of compliance with the system if it must achieve trade facilitation goals.

He said trade facilitation, security and risk management were inseparable, hence the need for a holistic approach aimed at the attainment of compliance trade.

He stated that while the deployment of technology had become necessary in compliance with trade facilitation, its adoption was a progressive journey which required regular improvement and updates to ensure system enhancement, adding: “We cannot say that because we have achieved some level of progression, we should relax.”
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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