Government Should Pursue Agricultural Value Chain Project
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commenced Agricultural Value Chain Project aimed at addressing data constraints and the expected business connectedness that is required to create better interfaces between actors, industry performance metrics, and the wider economy.
The project seeks to support the government's industrial transformation agenda, which is also currently enjoying some support from other stakeholders including government.
'Notwithstanding the expressed support and commitment, it is the Chamber's expectation that government would continually engage the Chamber and other stakeholders to address the distress faced by industry with respect to the provision of relevant microdata.
'Such microdata is critical in examining the revenue contributors to the wider economy,' Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The Chamber noted the government's commitment in supporting the private sector to drive the industrial transformation of the Ghanaian economy through numerous interventions, saying, 'These initiatives, tend to serve as a short-term approach to solving a systemic problem of industry'.
The statement said the Chamber, as the guardian of the interests of businesses in Ghana, was aware that many businesses, including those undertaking domestic production, were distressed.
'They are borrowing at very high-interest rates and face unsustainable competition from cheap imports. The Chamber is also aware that the tax regime and the manner it is applied do not always support domestic industry,' the statement said.
It said the inadequacy or non-availability of bottom-up data in identifying and addressing the inherent risks and bottlenecks along the value chains would undermine the industrial transformation agenda of the government.
'In the opinion of the Chamber, a stimulus package to industry must encompass addressing the policy constraints on businesses. It must address questions around trade policy and the virtual takeover of the domestic markets by imports.
'It must address the prevailing high interest rates. It must recognise that policy matters more to industrial development than one-off projects,' the statement said.
The Chamber, therefore, urged the government to involve all stakeholders in the management of the stimulus package.