Government has assured the business community in Ghana, especially expatriates, that it is taking steps to deal with the incidence of unfair trade practices that affect their investments.
To address, among other challenges, the dumping of poor quality and cheap goods into Ghana, often without the payment of the required duties and taxes, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced the formation of the Ghana International Trade Commission.
Announcing the appointment of a five-member governing board for the commission in Accra on Monday, the President said “the board would work to ensure, amongst other things, that the country institutes strong countervailing and anti-dumping measures to protect your investments.”
The President, who was addressing guests at the maiden Ghana Expatriate Business Awards event, urged the commission to work with other state actors to ensure a level playing field for businesses.
“It is vital that the commission acts with the necessary purpose and vigour, and that it liaises closely with the Ghana Revenue Authority to ensure a level playing field for domestic business,” the President noted.
Touching on his government’s commitment to restoring economic stability, President Akufo-Addo recalled promises made before the 2016 elections, and said: “We promised to put in place policies and programmes that would help grow the Ghanaian economy, bring in its wake opportunities for the private sector to expand, and thereby help create the thousands of jobs needed by the teeming masses of Ghanaian youth.”
According to the President, an expanded economy would require the harnessing and promotion of the entrepreneurial abilities and talents of Ghanaians and other private sector operators.
The promises were made bearing in mind the many challenges that confronted the private sector at that time and were impacting negatively on the business environment and the competitiveness of the country’s enterprises.
Over the past 11 months, government, he indicated, had been working to restore the stability of the Ghanaian economy, without which private sector growth would be inhibited.
With inflation (11.6%) and interests rates reduced, a largely stabilised currency, a significant reduction in fiscal deficit through the rationalisation of public sector expenditure and at the same time improving government revenue, government had also within the 11-month period controlled domestic borrowing, “so as not to crowd out the private sector from the financial market.”
Government’s external debt commitments had also been brought to sustainable limits.
Govt loses GH¢1 billion from tax cuts
The President revealed that tax cuts announced by government at the beginning of the year amounted to GH¢1 billion in forgone revenue to the state. In all, 10 different taxes were affected.
The private sector had been strengthened by shifting the focus of government’s economic policy from taxation to provision of incentives for production.
The reforms, President Akufo-Addo indicated, were designed “to make Ghana an investment destination of choice in Africa.”
Govt promotes digitisation of economy, businesses
Government is taking specific measures that would lead Ghana and the economy into the new digital age.
It is introducing an e-business registration system, has already introduced a paperless port clearance system, digital addressing system, mobile interoperability system and the national identification 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 the technologically driven era where connectivity through digital services is an important element in achieving competitiveness.”
GH¢5.3 billion outstanding energy sector debt to be settled Q1 2018
Bold steps had been taken by government to settle a substantial part (GH¢4.7 billion) of the GH¢10 billion energy sector debt inherited from the previous administration, the President said.
The move, he said, was expected to strengthen the liquidity of the banks, and free the energy sector for fresh investments, “to reduce the cost of energy.”
Source: Isaac Aidoo || The Finder