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23.04.2007 Business & Finance

Local Industries in danger

By Market Watch

Many economic experts are worried that Ghana is being used as a dumping ground for the more developing economic countries such as Europe and the Middle East and China.

Cheap imported products play a large part in Ghana's economy and are the largest part of Ghana's economic basket.

Thrown away products by the already developed world being Ghana's main industry is very dangerous for Ghanaian industries.

The Executive Producer for the CEPA, Joe Abbey said that Ghana's reliance on cheap imported goods can reduce the cost of living as the country already has a strong exchange rate through Ghanaians abroad and non-governmental agencies and other donor agencies to support cheap imports and reduce the cost of living.

Dr Abbey explained that by doing so we are buying off inflation and can therefore buy more expensive products which definitely reduce the cost of living for those with jobs.

However, he said that products therefore from Ghana would be priced out as nobody will patronize Ghanaian products when cheaper goods are on the market.

As well as cheaper goods being available people cannot buy them because their jobs are taken and exported to the countries where the goods are coming from.

The situation will also get worse as unemployment is already high in the country and those with jobs will further have close down their businesses as nobody will buy more expensive goods from Ghana whilst there are less expensive and international goods on the market.

We cannot target inflation as the only thing we need to do as the problem may be non-sustainable therefore social vices and domestic employment must also be targeted.

Joe Abbey continued to say that the cost of living must always be closely monitored in order for us to always know the reality of our situation so that a solution can always be found to problems in the economy.

He said that of we are monitoring our economic growth as something more than what we are actually producing then we are creating a time bomb for ourselves.

He continued to say that it is also very important that we monitor our economy as if not we may convince ourselves that imports are coming in, the economy is stable and therefore we are doing well.

In the 2007 budget, the growth target for the manufacturing sector was reduced therefore the Government already know what the importation of foreign goods is doing to the manufacturing sector.

He asked the government to do something about stimulating import substitutes by creating infrastructure that is cheap and effective.

He believes this will create jobs for young graduates from the universities.

Already the domestic cost of production is going up due to the energy crisis. The cost of energy and the crisis also raises implications for businesses.

If the cost of energy is expensive, it may be available but businesses and individuals may not be able to afford and therefore patronize it which brings the same problem of non-availability of the product.

Dr Abbey advised that the situation requires careful monitoring and policy packaging to solve the energy crisis.

He concluded that long term solutions were best, not the short term solutions which are being given at the moment.

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