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Business & Finance | May 24, 2004

PSD to improve efficiency to increase export

GNA

Accra, May 24, GNA - Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Private Sector Development (PSD) on Monday said the new National Medium Term Private Sector Development Strategy, will improve efficiency at the firm level, enhance market competitiveness and increase export in the medium term. He said the strategy to be launched on June 2, is a combination of various projects and programmes being implemented by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other bodies in support of the private sector.

Mr Bartels announced this at the opening of a Special General Meeting of members of the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) in Accra.

The meeting brought together representatives of export associations, corporate members of FAGE, stakeholders and policy makers in the export sector to elect new a executive council for the association.

Mr Bartels said that the Ministry and the private sector would monitor the projects and programmes to ensure that they were being implemented to address problems and shortcomings.

"It is our hope that we will endeavour to join hands to ensure that you are given all the needed assistance to enable you play your part in the sustainable development of the country", he added. He noted that government was in the process of reforming laws to enhance the activities of the business sector for sustainable development.

The laws to be reformed would include companies code, insolvency bill, money laundering bill and insurance bill.

Mr Bartels said government was doing all it could to ensure a stable micro-economic environment to enable the sector to plan meaningful activities adding, "as much as you expect so much from government, we also expect that you comply with all the laws concerning the business."

He said areas such as employing staff on permanent basis and paying them as they earn, including their taxes and social security benefits should be taken seriously.

"Perhaps loyalty and institutional knowledge of staff could be built in treating our employers in a more formal manner and instituting similar schemes for their benefits," he added.

Mr Bartels said issues such as land registration and water supply were being addressed.

Mr Augustine Adongo, Chief Executive of FAGE urged participants to take the issue of corporate governance and social responsibility seriously because it ensures discipline in the transaction of their business.

He also advised them to always compare themselves with their counterparts on the international market.

Mr Tony Sikpa, Vice President of FAGE, who outlined the challenges confronting the private sector said the sector was still grappling with the problems of duty drawback and valued Added Tax refund, processing time and support services at the ports, pack houses and cold chain, credit and finance services.

He appealed to government to develop a more robust and effective mechanism to address the challenges adding, "we are becoming a little fatigued by the talk shops, seminars and workshops that appear to be our only way of addressing problems in Ghana". 24 05 04

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