Key Actors Discuss How To Enhance Private Sector's Role In Development
Mr Joe Baidoe-Ansah, Minister for Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiative, yesterday, called for the full utilisation of available resources to sustain the private sector as vehicle for the country's vision of attaining middle income status by 2015.
Mr Baidoe-Ansah said current economic reforms being pursued by the government had yielded positive results, leading to a 45 percent increase in new cash investments to GH¢1.15 billion (US$1.2bn) in 2007.
Opening the fifth joint review meeting of the national medium term Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS) at Elmina, he said some 305 projects registered as of 2007 are expected to generate at least 25,367 compared, up from 12,044 jobs from 238 projects in 2006.
The PSDS, which was launched in 2004, is geared towards achieving sustainable and equitable private sector-led growth throughout the country, and its optimal implementation, is expected to enhance competitiveness of the sector.
The meeting was also to outline concrete steps, such as specific technical assistance and capacity enhancement inputs, to be provided directly to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to accelerate the pace of implementation of specific activities that are critical for the success of the PSDS.
The participants included representatives of MDAs, the Ghana Export Promotion Council, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Association of Ghana Industries and state revenue collecting agencies, as well as international donors such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union.
Mr Baidoe-Ansah said the establishment of commercial courts had resulted in greater confidence among the private sector generally, with more than 75 percent of such cases resolved at the pre-trial stage, supported by the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.
He said government would continue with reforms that simplify procedures, time and cost of doing business, particularly import and export, starting and operating a business and enforcing contracts and taxation.
The Minister observed a major challenge in the reforms was how to make the benefits widespread throughout the country and the very large informal sector of the economy.
In brief remarks, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey, observed that although Ghana has seen significant law-making in the area of businesses over the years, the laws have failed to 'touch' the fundamentals of basic business entities. 'Most of the laws have dwelt mainly on the institution of fees,' he added.
He said measures were also being taken to ensure that the Registrar General's Department, focuses solely on the registration of companies, thereby moving away from registration of events like marriages.
The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, who co-chaired the meeting, called for a reduction in the cost of doing business to promote competitiveness in the private sector. He called on MDAs tasked to ensure the successful implementation of the PSDS to ensure that they discharge their duties effectively to facilitate private sector development.