22.04.2005 Business & Finance

PEF calls for more funds for Small and Medium Enterprises

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Accra, April 22, GNA - The Private Enterprise Foundation (PRF) on Thursday called for the establishment of a small stock exchange market for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a means of securing adequate funding for their operations.

The Foundation said since most financial institutions were reluctant to meet the financial needs of small companies, it was important for the Government to provide an alternative source of funding from the banks, which usually were only predisposed to lending to the huge multinational and successful businesses. Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of the PEF, made the suggestion in Accra when he interacted with Financial Journalists to brief them on the 2005 PEF/Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Legislative and Advocacy Project.

He said he was unhappy that the survival of SMEs was precarious and could not be met by the established institutions, making them wade through very murky waters and unfavourable circumstances that rendered them uncompetitive.

Dr Boeh-Ocansey called for further deepening of the financial sector and instruments to make them attractive and acceptable to SMEs. He said the Foundation was working under the PEF/CIPE to review the Companies Code of 1963, Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963 and the Incorporated Private Partnership Act 1962 (Act 152). Dr Boeh-Ocansey described them as outmoded and that they were no longer serving their usefulness to the full, saying that for the private sector to grow and create wealth for the nation, there was the need to have a friendly regulatory and legal framework.

He mentioned the Contract Law (Act 25) 1960, Insurance Law 1989 as amended and the Export and Import Act 1955 as amended as the other laws that needed to be reviewed to make them more relevant to the needs of Ghanaian enterprises.

"The objective of the Project is to foster stakeholder participation and legislative process thereby improving the legal and regulatory framework for business operations," Dr Boeh-Ocansey said. Mr Tawia Akyea, Executive Director of the Foreign Trade Institute, commenting on the provision of funding for businesses under the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), for instance, he said it was critical for stakeholders and the Media to identify the objectives for setting up EDIF before any judgment could be made.

Mr Akyea, who was reacting to comments that EDIF was not meeting its targets, said it was wrong for anyone to perceive that EDIF was not performing without doing a critical analysis of the institution. He said EDIF could be transformed to meet the financial needs of businesses that could result in more wealth creation and strengthening of businesses and the economy. 22 April 05

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