The Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana (SOAAG) say they anticipate a positive business outlook in the year 2019 with the coming into operation of the Tema Port expansion project.
Speaking at a cocktail event to engage key stakeholders of the maritime and shipping industry to review the year 2018 and also discuss prospects for 2019, the President of the Association, Robert Oram said the current macro-economic conditions in Ghana looks positive with rising GDP and falling inflation.
“I think when we look at the macro-economic conditions here in Ghana they look positive, GDP is growing, inflation is coming down so it should be a positive year with a new port opening and that should all point to a positive development for the shipping industry in Ghana.”
The members of SOAAG however urged government to put in place measures to arrest the cedi-dollar disparities.
“I’m sure the main policy everyone is interested in at the moment is how government will arrest the slide of the cedi, obviously it has a very big impact on particularly import business so I think that would be the key issue for many in the shipping industry; what will happen to the currency has a big impact on their business.”
SOAAG described the year 2018 in the shipping industry as a good one with the increase of cargo throughput.
“The only way we can bring others on board is to have an open hand and open heart and encourage everyone to put their business in a conducive and open environment. Most importantly let’s share best practices because I know all of you here have a lot to give to each other,” Mr. Ayarna Imoro, Vice President of SOAAG advised.
Industry players present at the cocktail pledged their commitment to ensure that the port and maritime industry doesn’t suffer a setback in the future.
“This year the Shippers Authority is looking to doing something on UCL because it’s a problem that affect the industry and I know that SOAAG and freight forwarders and all of us will come on board because we know that if we can halt this trend it goes to even make our ports more efficient,” Monica Josiah, Tema Branch Manager of GSA remarked.