Ghana, best place to do business in West Africa - World Bank report
Finance Minister, Seth Terkper and President John Mahama have finally been vindicated.
The latest World Bank report indicates that Ghana is the best place for doing business in West Africa. This sharply contradicts the position held by NPP Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia who have deliberately painted a gloomy picture about Ghana’s economy.
The latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business report which rated 190 countries indicates Ghana made marginal progress in several area.
According to the rankings, Ghana beat the biggest economy in the West African sub region, Nigeria and its neighbor, Ivory Coast, as the best place for doing business.
The latest report comes at a time, Ghana’s main opposition party has consistently been misleading the public with selective reports about the performance of the economies in the two named countries particularly.
On the African Continent, Ghana was ranked as the ninth best place for doing business after Lesotho and Zambia.
Mauritius once again ranks best in the region, with an overall Doing Business global ranking of 49.
Mauritius performs best in the areas of Protecting Minority Investors and Dealing with Construction Permits, with a rank of 32 and 33 respectively, on those indicators.
Ghana recorded its biggest jump in the area of trading across borders, going up by 13 places to 167 out of the 190 countries ranked.
It also went up by three places to 76 on the resolving insolvency indicator and two places to 122 when it comes to getting access to electricity for businesses.
On the global front, Ghana’s performance went up globally by three places to 108 out of 190 countries ranked.
The World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings assessed countries based on 11 indicators such as starting a business, access to a credit facility, registering a property, access to electricity, paying taxes, protecting minority investors, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Ghana however did not do so well in the time taken to start a business. It went down by seven places to 103 and dealing with contracts permit also went down by five places to 112.
In the category of facilitating easy mode for firms to pay taxes, Ghana went down three places to 119.
For easy access to a credit, Ghana also went down by two places to 44.
This year’s report also covers Somalia for the first time, bringing the total number of economies covered globally to 190 with the sub-Saharan country ranked 190.
For the second consecutive year, Kenya places among the global top 10 improvers. Ranked 92, Kenya implemented reforms in five Doing Business areas.
The latest World Bank report supports the recent position of international credit rating agencies on the country. All three, Moody’s, Fitch as well as Standards and Pours have given Ghana a positive outlook for next year.
A UK-based rating agency, Moody’s, for example rated the Ghanaian economy B3, indicating stability from a negative outlook
President John Mahama who has been consistent on the impact of the home grown policies backed by the rippling effect of improved power supply and stabilized cedi maintains "Ghana is rising and Ghana is doing well".
“You know what is happening in the world, there is a financial crisis going on in the world and I have lived in this country all my life. In most cases where we see a collapse of commodity prices of two of our principal exports, the economy has always gone into a close spin. As I speak, we are having a collapse of two of our major exports; gold is down, oils is down and so the single major export still sustaining the economy is cocoa. But even cocoa has even come down a bit, yet the economy is not experiencing the kind of shocks we use to experience in the past.”….. President Mahama told party supporters this shows that “there’s something happening in the economy.”
He added…“Recently, Fitch has come out with their report, they downgraded South Africa, Brazil and so many other countries, and yet Ghana maintained its rating with Fitch. It should tell you that there is something happening with the economy, the economy is becoming more resilient than it was in the past; and what we’ve done is to lay the basis for more investments by building on the social and economic infrastructure. And in my next term of office, our focus will be on the livelihoods of Ghanaians, improving on Ghanaian incomes.”
He also responded to questions on growing criticisms that the recent introduction of new taxes and levies has made Ghana an expensive business destination.
“Ghana is an attractive place to do business and often we must use measurable instruments to make our points. People say Ghana has become a high cost of doing business and investments are falling. There is no truth to it, if you go to GIPC; Ghana is one of the few countries that have seen increased investment.”
President Mahama argued that “So if Ghana was an expensive place to do business, why would people still be coming to invest their monies? So it’s not borne out by the fact.
I hear a lot of opposition propaganda that says that companies are packing out and leaving Ghana and going to Cote D’Ivoire and several times I’ve asked, give me one single company that has packed and left and nobody is able to? Which companies? But its good political propaganda so people just re-echo it, there is no company packing and leaving,” the President insisted.