Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has urged the government to pursue policies that would improve the business environment, reduce the cost of capital and financing, and remove regulatory bottlenecks for growth.
“We expect that the government will continue to bail out troubled businesses and provide stimulus packages to support efforts by businesses to bounce back,” he said.
Mr Akpeloo in his New Year’s message to AGI members said, “As businesses continue to manage the aftermath of Covid-19, we shall continue to engage government to ensure that stimulus plan for larger businesses will be operationalised speedily.”
He urged the government to integrate the interest of the private sector in policy formulation and implementation such that the sector would be empowered to reap the benefits of the country hosting the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“We believe that the continuous support of the government for the private sector will make Ghana a hub for business growth in Africa,” saying such supports were necessary because businesses had to make significant adjustments to remain operational or become competitive post-COVID-19.
“The global economy has not recovered enough from the shocks of the virus and now that a new variant of the virus has been found, which is deemed more infectious than the current one, we must not abandon the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
Mr Akpeloo said as businesses embraced the new year, they needed to remodel their businesses to ensure a quick and appropriate response to similar situations.
He said AfCFTA, which commenced January 1, 2021, presented an opportunity for Ghanaian businesses to expand and access the entire African market of 1.3 billion people.
AfCFTA is expected to boost Africa’s combined GDP by 1 percent to 3 percent, create employment opportunities, improve trade across Africa, and promote private sector development.
Mr Akpeloo said with Ghana hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat, members of AGI ought to position themselves to become the hub of African enterprise.
“We must strengthen our corporate governance systems, redefine our business models, and realign our brands to remain competitive vis-à-vis the expected ease in movement of goods and services across borders, as a result of the removal or reduction of import tariffs on most goods and services produced in Africa,” he said.
Mr Akpeloo said AfCFTA did not offer the opportunity to only businesses but also consumers, with varieties of goods and services to choose from and called on businesses to invest in technology and product development to be competitive.