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Ghana: too many foreign shops, traders call government's action

(AGI) - Accra, Aug 24 - Traders in the various markets in Accra have renewed pre...

Ghana: too many foreign shops, traders call government's action

(AGI) - Accra, Aug 24 - Traders in the various markets in Accra have renewed pressure on leaders of the parent body, the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), to get government to flush out foreigners in their markets. Executives of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, on visited shops in the central business district of Accra after complaints by its members that Nigerian and Chinese traders are taking over their businesses. There have been similar complaints in the past where Ghana and Nigerian officials agreed to some modalities for foreigners to operate legally in those markets. But the traders, said the situation has not changed. "You go to a Chinese shop and as you can see, people are buying because the goods are cheaper. Meanwhile we are the tax payers, we pay our tax and we have workers, we pay yet we find it difficult to meet our operating expenditure," one trader lamented. She added, "The government should sit up and do something for us; things are getting worse I would say." Another trader also observed, "The issue is really appalling; all our shops are empty and these Chinese are doing business. Meanwhile we are being harassed for tax payment, VAT and other expenses and yet we are not making ends meet." It would also be recalled that businesses involved in the retail of fishing gears in the Central Business District of Accra complained about how Chinese businesses were making it difficult for their businesses to thrive. Even though the Trade Ministry and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) have made previous interventions to solve the problem, GUTA believes the current situation is making life unbearable for Ghanaian retailers. Speaking to journalists , the President of GUTA, Barima Dr. Ofori Ameyaw remarked, "For so many weeks, we have been hearing about foreigners invading the retail sector of the economy whiles government looks aloof as if they have seen nothing. The Government Investment Promotion Centre which is supposed to regulate, monitor and see to it that nobody does these illegal activities are also watching on unconcerned," He however stressed his outfit will take up the mandate to survey the depth of the situation, and find ways to deal with it to ensure Ghanaian retailers get back their market space. "We have to take it on board by ascertaining the veracity or otherwise so we can pick on the intelligence and present it to the higher authority for them to take the necessary action." (AGI) .