Current obstacles can only be overcome through direct investment in the economy – Trade Minister

Direct investment into the Ghanaian economy, according to Trades Minister Alan Kyerematen, is the surefire solution to the nation’s current economic problems.

As the level of unsustainable debt continues to rise and the Ghanaian economy faces more challenges, the government has started a debt exchange scheme.

According to the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the debt exchange is a requirement for securing a rescue from the IMF.

Since it was announced on Monday, the proposal has faced harsh criticism, and labour unions have threatened to go on strike because they fear it will hurt their pension funds.

Speaking on the theme: Championing Export-Led Industrial Growth; in the Context of AFCFTA and World Trade, at the opening ceremony of the third Annual Investment Week of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Alan Kyerematen said Ghana cannot continue to rely on access to the global capital market as a means of development.

“If we’re going to put investment at the center of our development agenda then we need to appreciate the fact that we cannot continue relying only on access to the capital international financial market but we have to think seriously about how we aggressively promote private direct investments be it domestic or foreign,” he said.

The Free Zones Authority’s CEO, Amb. There are presently 217 active free zone businesses owned by Mike Oquaye Jnr in Ghana. This employs about 31,000 Ghanaians and has export earnings of over US$27 billion, directly employing over 33,000 people.

The failure of certain businesses to submit their quarterly returns and audited financial statements, however, alarmed him.

“This lack of submission of quarterly returns is affecting the Authority’s accurate data for management reporting and decision making. Some of the companies also owe ground rent and some have not renewed their licenses.  I entreat the CEO’s to ensure that these anomalies are corrected in the ensuing year, so as to enhance our ability to be of greater service to all.”

The week-long event is anticipated to increase industry confidence and aid in attracting more direct investment.

Source: / Amos Ekow Coffie