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15.07.2004 Business & Finance

Minority Lends Support to Medium Term Private Sector Strategy

By GNA

Accra, July 15, GNA- Ghana's Minority in Parliament has pledged its support to government's National Medium-Term Private Sector Development Strategy, which articulates the government's targeted institutional framework for dramatically improving the environment in which Ghanaian businesses operate.

The Minority said it had the firm belief that the Private Sector in Ghana had immense potential that could be maximised and they remained committed to supporting any effort at reducing the cost of doing business and improving the general investment climate in the country.

"This is because the National Medium Term Private Sector Development Strategy is on the whole well articulated and laid out, setting out where we are, where we want to be and how we are to reach our destination," Mr Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader said in Accra on Wednesday, stressing that, "we wholeheartedly support the Strategy."

Mr Bagbin was speaking at the launch of the Strategy, which was attended by President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chief Executives, Corporate Leaders and Captains of Industry. The Strategy is a clear statement of the actions government is taking or intends to take to facilitate private investment. The position, which Mr Bagbin said represented the view of the main opposition National Democratic Congress called on government not to dwell too much on re-doing what had been done in the past. He said previous governments and donors, private sector development programmes and projects had made tremendous progress and should be examined for use.

Mr Bagbin explained that for instance the clearance of goods at the country's ports today was not the same as in 1983 or 1994, "yet delays in customs clearance in the document had been tabled as if the situation had been stagnant. It is critical for the Strategy to appraise the previous benchmarks to enable effective evaluation and measurement of the proposed performance indicators."

He called for the designing in the Strategy a mechanism to check against favouritism to enable the marshalling and promotion of all of Ghanaian businesses.

He also asked government to keep its commitment to agree and publicise performance indicators within the next few weeks. Mrs Elizabeth Villars speaking for industry welcomed the Strategy and urged the private sector to take full advantage of the benefits. She asked government to endeavour to make the public sector responsive to the needs of the private sector, a trend she noted had the potential of fully developing the entire business capacity in Ghana. Mr John Winter, Director of DFID, called the strategy "good", but called for targets and benchmarks that would make the Strategy realistic.

"Every strategy like an action plan, should have clear targets and time posts." Professor Stephen Adei, Director-General of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration congratulated government for coming out with the Strategy saying it puts Ghana in a better stead in the international global market place.

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