Mobile Phone and Accessories Dealers Association (MPAADA) has expressed displeasure about Ghana Investment Promotion Center’s (GIPC) decision to review downward the one-million-dollar threshold required by law to permit a foreigner to do business in Ghana.
According to the Association the decision if implemented will see foreigners taking over the retail sector and kick Ghanaian traders out of business.
They have therefore warned that its members will resist any attempt by the GIPC to review the threshold downward to favor foreign traders at the expense of the Ghanaian trader.
The Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Yoofi Grant in recent press encounters has hinted that he intends reviewing downward the one-million-dollar threshold required by laws to permit a foreigner to do business in Ghana.
However, Mr. Akorle said the action by GIPC will bleed unhealthy competition between the foreigners and the local businessmen.
In an interview with some journalists in his office in Accra, he said the association does not take the GIPC’s decision kindly at all and will resist any attempt by the Center to review the threshold downward.
Touching on some the reason the threshold should not be reviewed downwards, he said “If you take loan from China, the interest on it is between just 6 to 7 percent. With the Lebanese is even lower because they have something they call Islamic loan where the interest is zero.
“So how can a Ghanaian who has taken loan with interest of 35 percent compete with those taking 6 to zero percent”.
Mr. Akorle disagreed with the GIPC’s Boss assertion that the Ghanaian traders need incentives not protection, stating “How on earth can you compete with these foreign traders on the retail market considering their low interest payment on loan they take in their countries to come and do business here.
“What kind of incentive can GIPC give us which can make us compete with these foreigners. We are not interested in his incentive, what we want is for him to implement the parliamentary Act 865, 2013. This is what we want”, he said.
Sack Foreigners In Retail Sector
Mr. Akorle wondered why GIPC has failed to implement the laws that prohibits foreigners from operating from the central business area in Ghana adding that many attempts by traders in Ghana to flush these foreigners out from the central business areas has proved futile.
“GIPC must chase them out before the foreigners chase us out of business. Their presence is causing a lot of chaos at the market which does not auger well at all”, he said.
Foreigners Causing Chaos
Mr. Akorle said the foreign traders have devised new strategy where they are redirecting customers of well-known Ghanaian mobile phone shops to their shops.
“What they do I that one of them will come and stand in front of a popular Ghanaian shop and redirect customs of the shop to their shops and they will sell to them inferior products at a cheaper rate.
“This is creating problems at the market, resulting in fierce confrontation between the Ghanaians and the foreign traders.
“The customs also return to complain about the inferior phone sold to them and it turns into a fight. We have reported several times to government but no action has been taken. This is not good and GIPC must take action now before the situation gets out of hands”, he said.
Foreigners With Ghanaian Passport
Mr. Akorle said the foreigners have adopted a new strategy to outwit Ghanaians, explaining that “Some of foreigners have acquired Ghanaian passport so anytime time we confront them then they display their Ghanaian passport to prove their nationality but whether the passport is genuine or not is another question that demands an answer”.
He urged the GIPC to implement the laws and make sure the foreigners are removed from the central business areas in Ghana.