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14.07.2004 Business & Finance

Government to set up Venture Capital Fund

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Accra, July 14, GNA- Government is setting up a Venture Capital Fund (VCF) to help curb the frustration encountered by the private sector in accessing business credit.

Twenty-five per cent of the proceeds accruing from the National Reconstruction Levy (NRL) would be set aside to start the Fund. President John Agyekum Kufuor said this on Wednesday when he launched the National Medium-Term Private Sector Development Strategy (NMTPSGS/2004-2008) under the theme " Partnering the Private Sector to achieve the vision of the "Golden Age of Business" in Accra on Wednesday.

Under the strategy, the Government would over the next five years intensify efforts to remove or at least drastically reduce the bureaucratic and institutional hurdles that constrain investors. The Government would in addition, look at short-term market measures to stimulate private investment in key growth sectors in a transparent and focused manner.

President Kufuor said a long-term savings scheme was also being put in place to serve as another source of credit for the business community. He said because contributions to the scheme would be exempted from tax, the scheme would also enhance the end-of-service benefits of its contributors.

President Kufuor said the Government had envisaged that with the effective and efficient implementation of the Strategy, Ghana could improve on her position in global and regional markets, until "our B+ rating becomes A".

"It is our objective that our national markets become more accessible and efficient, Ghana truly becomes a major gateway to West Africa. That our firms become highly competent and capable of competing effectively on the global market and the Government's capacity for private sector policy formulation and implementation is enhanced", he added.

Mr Kwame Pianim, an Economist and Chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) who chaired the function said with the establishment of the micro-economic stability, the stage was now set to push policies and programmes ahead for development.

He called for serious efforts to support the private sector for improvement in the export and import sectors for the to grow. Mr Pianim said with Ghana reaching the Completion Point under HIPC Initiative, it was necessary to support the private sector to sustain Ghana's debts from increasing.

He appealed to the Government to strengthen activities of the Ghana Statistical Service for a well-improved database for Ghana's socio-economic development.

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