Business News of 2014-07-30

Help overcome economic difficulties – Veep

The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has said it is high time Ghanaians focused on helping to find solutions to the current economic challenges.

He said with the government focused on implementing the Senchi Consensus, there was the need for stakeholders to support the national effort to overcome the country’s economic predicaments.

Mr Amissah-Arthur made the call in Accra yesterday when he opened a national stakeholders’ dialogue on boosting Ghana’s foreign exchange resources. He reiterated the government’s resolve to implement the recommendations that were made at the Senchi Forum.

The two-day dialogue, organised by the ministries of Trade and Industry and Finance, with support from the Bank of Ghana, is among others, designed to help find solutions to the foreign exchange difficulties and other economic problems confronting the country.

Delivering the keynote address, the Vice-President identified three factors that had posed challenges to the economy, namely the over-reliance on only a few traditional export commodities, declining export revenues due to the unstable and consistent fall in cocoa prices and an increasing demand for foreign goods and services.

Mr Amissah-Arthur attributed the decline in the value of the local currency and the dwindling sources of foreign inflows from exports to the combined effects of the identified challenges and said the economy had, therefore, become susceptible to several adverse shocks in the international markets.

“It cannot be over-emphasised that this situation calls for all of us, as stakeholders, to dialogue and fashion out a collective strategy to raise inflows from both our traditional and non-traditional exports,” he said.

The Vice-President urged delegates at the session to give suggestions, make recommendations and come up with action plans towards achieving the collective goal during the two-day dialogue which will, among other things, discuss the government’s desired objective of a thriving economy and improved livelihoods.

He also called on the participants to build consensus on how best to boost foreign exchange earnings. Mr Amissah-Arthur gave an assurance that the government would continue to review and reform the tax and tariff regimes, incentive schemes and general cost of doing business to ensure a conducive and more attractive investment climate.

He told the participants that the Senchi Consensus was to establish a mechanism to realign the budget and governance projects whenever the economy was affected by unanticipated external shocks.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mona Helen Quartey, had expressed optimism that the dialogue would create a platform for professionals from the various agencies to brainstorm and find the best solutions to the economic challenges.

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