THE Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has pledged to collaborate with the government to help change the country’s economic structure from an import led economy to an export-oriented one.
According to the association, only a private-sector led industrial development, with mutual support from the government, will accelerate and deliver the required transformation of the economy.
Launching the 60th anniversary of the association on the theme: “Transforming the Ghanaian Economy through Industrialisation,” the President of the AGI, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, said the business community was not happy with the current structure of the economy.
“Indeed, high imports impact hugely on our macro-economic stability, job creation prospects, port logistics management, and local capacity development as a country,” he said.
He said it was for those reasons that the AGI was in full support of the government’s initiatives aimed at promoting industrialisation in the country.
“Not only are we in support, we are also not sitting on the fence. As much as possible, we are getting actively involved to ensure that our members benefit fully from the projects.
“I urge you all to put your shoulders to the wheel to drive this agenda of a truly industrialised economy. We are grateful to the government for involving the AGI in many of the reforms it has embarked on, especially the interventions to check malpractices at the ports,” he stated.
Dr Gyamfi observed that it was the association’s expectation that the formation of the Ghana International Trade Commission, a key institution for checking unfair trade practices, would inure to the benefit of the Ghanaian private sector.
“Indeed, this will ensure fair competition and growth of our local industry. Today, we have no option than to remain competitive as a business and, therefore, the AGI will support policies that would reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana,” he added.
The AGI president’s views were corroborated by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who observed that the government was on an aggressive plan to transform the country’s economy.
Taking them through the plans of the government to shift the economy from commodity based to industrialisation, the minister also called on the business community to partner the government in some of the projects.
He pointed out some of the numerous opportunities that the business community could explore in the government’s 10-point agenda for transformation.
“The government has designed policy reforms to make Ghana the most business-friendly nation in Africa to accelerate socio-economic development and prosperity for all. We recently launched a very ambitious transformational agenda for the country and there are some areas which I believe will interest you,” he stated.
The minister emphasised that the industrial agenda was anchored on the following areas: building competitive businesses of existing local industries by facilitating access to medium and long term financing at low interest rate and implementing the One District, One Factory initiative to bring industrialisation to the doorsteps of the people.
“The number one challenge confronting our country is the unemployment rates, but as a government we believe that we can create jobs within every sector of the economy through industrialisation agenda,” he added.
For his part, the Minister of Business Development, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, emphasised the government’s commitment to make Ghana a business hub through a number of measures to improve the economic environment.
“It is our top priority to make Ghana a number one business country, at least in West Africa,” the minister said. — GB