The Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana (SOAAG), has held its annual cocktail event with a call on all stakeholders in the port and shipping industry to resort to dialogue as they seek ways of resolving challenges confronting the industry.
The annual cocktail event is aimed at bringing players in the port and shipping industry together for networking and discussion of pertinent issues pertaining to the industry.
The interactive and informal gathering was attended by country executives of vessels calling the country’s ports and representatives from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Meridian Port Services, Ghana Shippers’ Authority, the Shippers Council of the Sahelian countries, the Association of the Customs House Agents Ghana, the Member of Parliament for Tema Central, Hon. Yvess Nortey and a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapah.
An Executive Member of SOAAG, Adam Imoru Ayarna, called for dialogue and commended stakeholders for their immense commitment and contribution towards ensuring that there was business continuity in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
The CEO of MPS, Mohammed Samara decried the low volumes of trade so far due to what he described as economic issues but expressed optimism that the second half of the year will bring some positive prospects.
He added that, “we are benchmarking this year as the best year ever in the history of the port which is not an easy benchmark to achieve.”
The Tema Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Julius Kantum called for cooperation among stakeholders to ensure that customs achieve its revenue targets.
The Director-General of GPHA, Michael Luguje assured the shipping lines and the business community that the Authority will continue to create the enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.
The GPHA boss said, “for us as GPHA, it has been a fruitful collaboration over the years. Indeed, during the COVID, we recognised the need for cargoes to be moving. Even though many of the lines shut your offices, you introduced online sessions. Anytime we called any of you during the pandemic, you ensured to address our concerns.”
A deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapah assured the shipping lines of the Ministry’s support because of the crucial role they play in trade facilitation.
He said, “if you understand the scope of trade and industry you know it is only logical to put the logistics department and sector at the top of affairs. Logistics play a key role in the trade facilitation regime and we will not be able to reap the dividends of all the work we are doing in trade facilitation, without it functioning.”
The event was used to unveil the new logo of SOAAG.