Business News of Wed, 28 Feb 20186
Akufo-Addo advocates for increased trade and investment co-operation with Germany
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says notwithstanding the excellent relations that exist between Ghana and Germany, Ghana has decided to turn our back on the old Ghanaian economy, which has been dependent on the production and export of raw materials, and also dependent on aid.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “we want our relations with Germany to be characterised by an increase in trade and investment co-operation.”
The President explained that an increase in trade and investment co-operation between the two countries is the only way to put Ghanaian products at the high end of the value chain in the global market place, and, thereby, create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians, particularly the youth.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, 28th February, 2017, when he delivered the keynote address at the German-Ghanaian Economic Forum, organized by the German Chamber of Commerce, and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Expressing his delight that German Development Co-operation is now being aligned with his government’s vision of moving Ghana Beyond Aid, President Akufo-Addo added that his my administration has implemented measures aimed at attracting investment, domestic and foreign, into Ghana, as well as stimulating growth of the Ghanaian private sector.
“We have introduced a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing; and have initiated a raft of tax cuts that is bringing relief to and encouraging businesses,” he said.
These interventions, the President noted, have ensured that the fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 5.6% at the end of 2017, and is projected to go down to 4.5% in 2018.
Additionally, he stated that inflation has declined from 15.6% at the end of 2016 to 10.3% at the end of January this year; the economy has grown from 3.6% in 2016, to 7.9% in 2017, and, this year, is estimated to grow at 8.3%, which would make it the fastest growing economy in the world.
President Akufo-Addo indicated further that Ghanaian industry was undergoing a spectacular revival, a decline in interest rates, a more stable cedi, and, overall, “our macro-economy is growing stronger.”
These measures, he stressed, have been put in place to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa, and create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
Additionally, he told the gathering that his Government has taken specific measures which will lead the country and its economy into the new digital age.
These include the introduction of an e-business registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital addressing system, a mobile interoperability system, and a national identification card system, all of which are designed to formalise the Ghanaian economy, reduce the cost of doing business, and facilitate interaction between businesses and their clients, particularly in a technology-driven era, where connectivity through digital services is an important element in achieving competitiveness.
“I am, thus, notifying the German Business community, to take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in the country to invest in Ghana,” he said.
The President continued, “Our flagship policies of ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘One Village, One Dam’, and the ‘Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs’ map out areas of opportunity, which I commend to you, as I do areas in the development of renewable energy and ICT growth. We are particularly keen to receive German investment in the area of renewable energy, for reasons that are self-evident.”
Addressing the challenge of the country’s infrastructural deficit, he told the gathering that his government is embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both the country’s road and railway infrastructure.
“We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north, i.e. Burkina Faso, to the west, i.e. Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east, i.e. Togo. We believe that this is an area where German and European technology and expertise would be very welcome,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that Ghana is on the cusp of a new, bold beginning, which will repudiate the recent culture of failure.
“We are determined to lift our country out of the doldrums. We want to use all the blessings that the Almighty has bestowed on us to bring progress and prosperity to our people, in our time. The Black Star is poised to shine and shine again, for, truly, the project is Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.