Ghanaian businesses should be operating under a competition law and policy from 2018.
This is the assurance from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The move should also make businesses comply with best practices and give value for money in the delivery of goods and services.
After a decade of initiating plans to pass a competition law, Ghana is yet to do so.
The absence of this has resulted in exploitation of consumers in some sectors of the economy.
But the Director, Legal Affairs at the Trade Ministry, Kofi Amenyah is confident of a reversed trend by next year.
“The policy which was developed about two years ago went through stakeholder consultation. Comments and inputs from the private sector went a long way in enriching the policy document. The bill and the policy document are currently ready for submission to cabinet, and with their assurance, the bill will be passed into law in the coming year.”
Meanwhile government is working to position Ghana’s trade subsector in conformity with global standards where consumer is given the access to a wide array of choices to select from.
This will also include the establishment of the Ghana International Trade Commission Act.
“Very soon His Excellency the president will inaugurate the commission as noted in the act. The GITC act will provide for the regulation of international trade from a different dimension in Ghana in conformity with the rules and regulations of the world trading system or the multilateral trading system. A comprehensive consumer protection bill is also in the offing.”
Mr. Amenyah spoke at a forum to discuss the impact of the absence of a competition law in Ghana in the light of mergers and acquisitions in some industry.
Meanwhile the CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant has maintained the need to develop a competition law that does not protect local businesses at the detriment of foreign ones.
“Are we really ready to let go of some of the regulation that we think are anti-competition, but are protectionist and may help our people really rise up? Are there alternatives that we need to look at?. I think those are the critical questions that we need to ask.”
“But beyond that I also believe that having clear-set rules of competition will trigger a vibrant market place and also afford the very protections that we need, by making sure that there is price competition, there is services and goods competition, and you are not cornered into either buying some specific goods because somebody decides it or paying for services you would rather get from somewhere else because it’s been decided by someone else.”
The event formed part of activities to commemorate the International Competition Day.
In Ghana, it was spearheaded by the CUTS Group.