–admonishes MMDAs not to construe support to private sector as a favour
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has commended the private sector for the critical role it has played and continues to play in the economic recovery, growth and transformation agenda of the country – especially driving the economic recovery efforts of government during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the minister, the private sector has indeed proved to be the engine of the economy, not only in words but also actions with its resilience and ingenuity.
“In Ghana, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and there were serious disruptions in global supply chains, it was the private sector that quickly marshalled its forces to cushion the pandemic’s impact by producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Sanitisers, Personal Care and Pharmaceutical products.
“I make these remarks to establish the fact that the private sector’s role in national development cannot and should not be underestimated. With or without the incidence of natural disasters, it is a well-established fact in development history that the most powerful economies in the world are those that maintain a strong focus on private sector development,” he emphasised.
Mr. Kyerematen echoed that significant among what the private sector is still doing and must be lauded is the fact their plans are far advanced to produce the nation’s own vaccines within the short- to medium-term.
He further stated that considering the bold efforts of the private sector to support government’s agenda, building a resilient and productive private sector to position Ghana as the leading Manufacturing Hub in Africa is the top-most priority of government.
The Trade Minister therefore admonished the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), other state institutions and government machinery that when they provide support to the private sector, it must not be construed as doing the private sector a favour – but rather incentivising them to risk their capital in creating jobs and increasing income levels of the population.
“However, in the same vein – since there is a cost associated with incentivising the private sector, government expects that the private sector will also fulfil their obligations by paying taxes and contributing their quota to national development,” he stated.
The minister made these remarks in his address at the inaugural Presidential Business Summit, an initiative that is being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Office of the President, selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The summit, which is described as part of the government’s Public Private Dialogue (PPD) framework to help improve the business environment in the country, is expected to develop an actionable Business Compact with clear commitments from both government and the private sector, as government has expressed commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the compact.
Delivering the keynote address, President Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated that it will take the private sector’s resilience and ingenuity to guarantee economic growth and create sustainable jobs for youth in the country.
According to the president, to be able to strengthen the country’s position as an economic powerhouse in West Africa, create substantial job opportunities for the teeming youth and sustain economic growth, there is a need to fully recognise the private sector’s critical role; hence, government will create a continuous constructive dialogue with the private sector toward realizing this vision.
“I have directed ministers and relevant heads of state institutions to participate actively in ensuring that there is constructive dialogue between government and the private sector toward realising our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“We will continue to strengthen and deepen our engagement with the private sector toward realizing this goal,” he said.