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Government urged to nurture local businesses into global giants

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 8, GNA
– Participants at the Sixth Edition of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) at the
end of the forum have urged the Government to consciously select some
businesses in the country and grow them into global giants.

They entreated the
Government to strengthen the local banks and avoid being swallowed by the
foreign ones.

They stated that
the number of banks operating in the country were too many for a population of
about 26 million.

They said the
Central Bank should rather focus on helping the financial institutions to grow
instead of licensing new ones and that the undue delay in announcing the
minimum capital requirement was unhelpful.

They expressed
delight that some regulatory reforms were ongoing, which was expected to
transform the way we do business.

They called for
more collaboration among indigenous business men and women to achieve the set
objectives.

They expressed
these in a communique issued on their behalf by Mr Joe Jackson, the Director of
Operations of Dalex Finance, in Accra, on Tuesday.

They said the banks
must assess each individual and the interest rate and not apply generic method
in assessing rate, especially applying the general non-performing loans
standard to everybody else. 

They said as much
as the Government was keen on maintaining a stable macroe-conomic environment,
economic growth should not be sacrificed to achieve that feat.

It said: “Planting
for Food and Jobs” initiative must be meticulously implemented in order to reap
the whole benefits.

The participants
called for cheap credits at the agriculture sector and that more incentives
needed in the agricultural sector to attract investment.

The communique said
supporting the private sector to provide affordable solution to farmers was
crucial in this regard.

Moreover, a lot
more needed to be done by the Government and all other stakeholders to ensure
all-inclusive economy.

“Macro insurance
can be a tool for financial inclusion and that insurance and pensions could
play a key role in mobilising funds for long term development and that
insurance companies need to do a lot more to design products that target the
untapped informal sector,” it noted.

It said acquiring
technology and innovation was key to improving the quality of life and that
Africa was far behind the application of technologies in the various facets of
businesses.

”Using e-business
is an integral part for growth.

“Working a lot more
with local innovators so that we can rescale and that innovation is going to be
the capital for Africa’s future,” it said.

It said making the
most productive use of the energy resources in the country’s drive for
accelerated socio-economic development was critical.

“Implementation is
critical addition to drawing a strategic business plan for the energy sector
and that government should encourage the public to see supply of electricity as
a commodity and not as a social benefit and the utilities should explore cost
effective ways of collecting their revenue,” it said.

The participants
expressed optimism that the efforts by the Ministry of Environment, Science,
Technology and Innovation, which was aggressively soliciting funds to drive the
technology agenda would yield positive results in the not distance future.

Some topics
discussed by various business and economic gurus, policy-makers and think tanks
included Maintaining Stable Macro-economic Environment for Sustained and
Inclusive Development, Winning a lot more synergy between the Entrepreneurs and
Mobile Operators, Building Stronger Banks for a Stronger Economy,
Entrepreneurship and Innovation and How Ghanaian businesses could take
advantage of the  stable Macroeconomic
Environment to make gains.

The two-day event
is on the theme: “Building a Ghanaian Owned Economy, 60 Years After
Independence,” organised by the Business and Financial Times and partnered by
some major media organisations in the country including the Ghana News Agency.

GNA

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