Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has hinted that government will soon establish a bank for traders.
The bank, he said, would have tailor-made loans with low-interest rates for traders to be competitive as well as make the overall economy more efficient.
Mr Kyeremanteng said government was already in consultation with the Ghana Union of Traders Association as well as other consultants to establish the Bank to alleviate the plight of the traders.
The Minister made this known when the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) met victims of the July 5, 2021 Makola fire outbreak, to disburse emergency financial support to them.
Government disbursed GHS 2,029,000.00 to the victims to mitigate the adverse effects of the fire incident on their businesses.
The money is to be disbursed through the Consolidated Banks Ghana (CBG) to the 98 victims whose shops were affected in the inferno.
He explained that trade and commerce played a critical role in the economic development of every country. “Trading has become the channel between manufacturing and consumption, as every product that is manufactured is consumed in order to complete the value chain”.
He said by acting as the channel between producers and consumers, trading had the potential to provide critical information as inputs into the production process, source of employment as well as serve as a platform for revenue mobilization in support of Government projects and programmes.
“It is against this background that among the components of the Ten-Point Plan for Industrial Transformation of Ghana, is enhancing Domestic Retail Trade by improving market and other distribution infrastructure as well as reducing administrative bottlenecks in domestic trade.
“Under this Component, Government has sought to provide direct support to business operators in the trade and commerce ecosystem through the introduction of a number of measures to facilitate trade in and out of the country.
“For example, upon the assumption of office of the NPP Government in 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry took a strategic and decisive step to address the challenges in trade facilitation and customs management which were impeding the work of many traders, by introducing a new Trade Facilitation and Customs Management System, UNIPASS.”
This new trade facilitation system has significantly improved the operations at our ports and borders, he said.
“In addition, Government took another strategic decision to support traders and micro enterprises through the provision of emergency liquidity support to the tune of GHS 600 million under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) when the whole world was struck by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” he stated.
Mr Kyeremanteng said the interventions were to indicate that the Government was fully committed to the profitability and sustainability of businesses.
He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry would work with all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to design a new retail market system to streamline the operations of traders in markets.
Dr Joseph Obeng, President, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), expressed gratitude to the Government for supporting the victims.
He said getting loans was very difficult and welcomed the news of the establishment of a bank for traders, adding that, this would make their work easier.