Traders at UTC in Accra’s Central Business District (CBD) closed their shops this morning in protest of the influx of foreigners in the retail space.
Scores of traders, some of whom are members of the Traders Advocacy Group (TAGG), insist that foreigners, by entering the retail business instead of focusing on selling on a wholesale basis, are perpetuating illegality and driving the predominantly Ghanaian retailers out of business.
Therefore, they are demanding that the government restrain foreigners from the retail business.
David Amoateng, President of TAGG, told the media in Accra on Tuesday, “The laws in Ghana, especially the GIPC Act, don’t allow them to engage in retailing. What has even exacerbated the situation is that the prices at which they are selling to them are the same as those they offer to individual buyers, depreciating their capital. When we looked around, we saw that many shops previously occupied by Ghanaians have now been taken over by the Chinese because their capital keeps diminishing, and they can’t even afford to stay in business.”
“We want the government to enforce the GIPC Act by excluding them from the retail sector. Let the foreigners operate in the wholesale sector and sell to the local population,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a Chinese businessman who owns a shop at TUC dismissed the allegations made by the trader unions, insisting that foreigners are engaged only in the resale trade.