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22.07.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana needs to attract domestic investment

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Accra, July 22, GNA - For Ghana to achieve a high level of economic growth, there is the need to attract private domestic investment to the long-term productive areas to help it generate the eight per cent growth rate required to lift the country to a middle-income status.

Dr Peter Lewis, Associate Professor, American University, said investment would only be possible when the Government encouraged domestic investors to put their money in agriculture, manufacturing and value added services, which were the foundation of growth in well-performing developing countries.

"It is only Ghanaian domestic investment that can lead the way. It is the only way out of the country's growth problems. Foreign investment can be only an adjunct to growth," he said.

Speaking at a discussion on: "Will Ghana Become a Middle-Income Country? The Politics of Growth," Dr Lewis said Government must make credible commitments by cutting down the cost of doing business, providing marketing support interventions and reforming the insecure property rights that created barriers to investment and production. It is these measures that would be able to get the needed response from the private sector to invest in the productive sectors.

The discussion was organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development to examine obstacles to Ghana's economic growth. Dr Lewis said it was ironic that the country's leaders had placed so much emphasis on attaining macro-economic stability in line with the requirements of the Bretton Wood Institutions while paying less attention to those institutional reforms that could pave the way to economic growth.

Dr Lewis called for strong growth oriented-leadership and delegation of policy authority as well as strengthening of peak economic agencies to lead the country's growth agenda.

There is also the need for the Government to forge new forms of cooperation with producer groups but these alliances should be ones that promoted competition instead of protection.

"It is also equally important that political parties also provide the necessary leadership by moving away from personal appeals and focus on policies, which will move the country forward," he said. Dr Lewis said with political uncertainty now reduced, it was time the country's leaders forged ahead with policies that would attract private investment into the country.

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