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10.04.2007 General News

Private sector requires more support

By myjoyonline

A group of Ghanaian private sector experts has ca1led for the prevention of a situation where all the country's major investments will be taken over by foreign investors.

The group said the government should support local investors to move ahead, as was being done in other countries such as China.

This came up at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in Accra on Thursday to collate views for the drafting of a bill on a proposed Ghana Investment Corporation (GIC).
The meeting was attended by economic and financial experts from the private sector, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and an official from the Attorney-General's Department.

In his remarks, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, said the decision to establish the GIC was announced as a policy initiative in the 2007 budget.

He said the proposed investment authority was to be the vehicle for the prudent management of public funds to be invested in major infrastructural projects such as transportation, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the energy and the road sectors.

He said if approved, the GIC would be tasked to explore the possibility of purchasing shares in some of the international companies which used raw materials from Ghana.

"The GIC is also expected to serve as a vehicle for strategic investments in international companies which process Ghana's raw materials in order to provide a hedge against falling commodity prices," he stated.

Mr Baah-Wiredu explained that the country could not continue to rely solely on the exportation of raw materials whose prices were not stable but had to venture into other productive investments to ensure stable economic growth.

A renowned economist and Chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Mr Kwame Pianim, said the proposal for the establishment of the authority was commendable but advised the government to be clear on exactly how it wanted it to be run.

He Said the country's present economic situation was good for such ventures.

A technical advisor at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Sam Mensah, said the ministry would continue to solicit views on the issue to enable it to present a credible report to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament for deliberations and approval.

Credit: Daily Graphic