The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says retail trading activities should not be left in the hands of foreigners and urged the Government to operationalise the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865.

The Association said the Act, which prohibited foreigners from engaging in retail businesses, needed to be implemented to protect the country’s economy, especially as the country was championing the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.

The Law specifies that the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place must be reserved for Ghanaians.

Other activities not permitted for non-citizens include operation of taxi or car rental services in an enterprise that has a fleet of less than 25 vehicles, operation of a beauty salon or a barber’s shop, and production and retail of sachet water.

Reverend Joseph Paddy, the Public Relations Officer of GUTA, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after a meeting with the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, said as part of their roadmap, it was agreed that the members would be civil in their actions towards pressing home their demands.

“When you look at the economy now foreigners have taken over majority of the sectors including mining, service and manufacturing. We need not sit and allow them to take over the retail business, because if that happens and there’s economic downturn they can withdraw their investment and repatriate to their country. This definitely will collapse the economy,” he explained.

“They procure loan facilities in their countries with interest rates as low as three per cent while in Ghana we contract loans at interest rates of about 37 per cent. So they do not care too much about their sale price and that takes our members out of business”.

Mr Paddy said the Union and its regional branches would use all legal means to ensure that the state acted based on the law, adding that; “It is a journey of no return”.

Members of GUTA, as part of their series of actions to get the Government to enforce the law, locked up about 52 shops at Opera Square in Accra Monday morning.

This follows similar actions at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi.

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