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Bank of Ghana withdraws foreign exchange support for rice, oil, poultry importation

The central bank of Ghana has directed all commercial banks in the country to stop providing foreign exchange for the importation of rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles, and other non-critical goods.

Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana

According to the Bank of Ghana, this directive is effective Thursday, November 17, 2022.

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Joy business also reported that the withdrawal of the FX support for the importation of these non-essential goods has been effective three weeks ago.

“... in accordance with the President [Akufo-Addo] directive issued at his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy, on Sunday 30th October, 2022, the Bank of Ghana will no longer provide FX support for the imports of rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non-critical goods”.

“Please be advised and act accordingly,” the communique to the banks read.

It is the government’s view that this move will help reduce the country’s exposure to imports and thus reduce the high demand for US dollars and other major foreign currencies, consequently slowdown the rapid depreciation of the cedi.

In a related development members of the Korea Importers Association of Ghana have also expressed their concern about the continued weakening of the Ghanaian cedi.

They are demanding urgent reduction in import duties as they say the depreciating cedi and high duties are collapsing their businesses.

Speaking at a press briefing, the General Secretary, Dumenu George says the duplication of functions and extra charges on duty which delay the clearing of goods at the ports have negatively affected their business.

According to him, clearing agents who are loaded with many jobs fail to meet the deadlines leading to demurrage.

He noted that importers rather make payments directly to banks with special codes to facilitate clearing of goods.

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