PATERON SIMONS JOINS THE BORDERLESS ALLIANCE
Paterson Simons, a crane distributor accross West Africa, has joined the Borderless Alliance – a group of 55 regional companies that work closely with West African governments to remove trade barriers in the region. The Borderless Alliance Conference for 2013 was recently held on February 21, 22 in Accra, Ghana.
Called Connecting Markets, the conference featured two days of presentations and discussions on the issues affecting transport and trade across West Africa. Opening the conference Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Haruna Iddrissu confirmed that public sector officials understand that customs clearance times have a direct impact on trade and pledged that Ghana would reduce the clearance time for transit trucks at the country’s borders to no more than two hours. The Borderless Alliance will continue to work with the department to ensure these objectives are reached.
Presentations by amongst others by Robert Orya, Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Barney Curtis of the Federation of Southern African Road Transport Associations and Alfred Braimah, Private Sector Director at ECOWAS provided a broad perspective on the causes of delays and presented a variety of lessons learned on how to address these problems, noting in particular that West Africa has some of the highest logistics and transportation costs in the world.
Break-away sessions during the second day of the conference focused discussions on financing the transport value chain, improving regional payment systems (mobile money), liberalizing the freight market and improving the performance of ports.
Paterson Simons looks forward to Borderless 2014 which this year will be hosted by the Alliance’s Nigerian stakeholders.