It is only private sector-led industrial development with mutual support from government that will accelerate and deliver the required pace of the country’s economic transformation, Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has said.
Speaking at the launch of the AGI’s 60th anniversary celebrations in Accra, he said it is only the private sector, specifically industry, that can shift the base of the economy from an import to export-based one to fast-track development.
“The current structure of an import-based economy is not what we expect, because high imports impact hugely on macroeconomic stability, job creation prospects, port logistics management, and local capacity development as a country.
“This is why the AGI is in full support of government’s initiatives aimed at promoting industrialisation; we will not be sitting on the fringes but actively involved to ensure benefit to our members,” he said.
Dr. Adu Gyamfi therefore assured of the AGI’s strong support for government’s economic policies, calling on members of the association to take charge of the industrialisation drive.
He added: “I urge you all [members] to put your shoulders to the wheel to drive this agenda of a truly industrialised economy”.
Dr. Adu Gyamfi commended government for engaging the AGI on most of its business support initiatives and called for sustained dialogue between the public and private sectors to help build a thriving business environment for growth.
He further expressed appreciation to government for introducing various interventions that will accrue to the private sector’s benefit- citing the ongoing port reforms and establishment of the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) to check unfair trade practices in the country.
He indicated: “The GITC will ensure fair competition that will ensure growth of local industry, as we have no other option than to remain competitive as a business. The AGI will support policies that tend to reduce the cost of doing business in the country”.
The AGI will be marking decades of business advocacy and influencing policy decisions, backed by its strong will to support government’s socio-economic interventions to drive national growth.
The 60th anniversary celebrations, on the theme ‘Transforming the Ghanaian economy through industrialisation’, will be marked with a series of activities including special lectures on policy issues, roundtable discussions, and visits to selected industrial enclaves in the country.
The Ghana Industrial Summit will also be organised as part of the celebrations in addition to the AGI’s annual general meeting (AGM) as well as a health walk, and will be climaxed with the AGI’s Ghana Industry and Quality Awards.
Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, in his remarks, applauded the AGI as a formidable force that is spearheading the private sector to drive the needed national socio-economic development.
In assuring the business community, he said government has, in its less than two years in office, set foundation for the private sector to thrive to push its ambitious industrialization programme.
“These are exciting times for the private sector, because when government is talking of a Ghana beyond aid it is all about empowering private sector to build self-sustaining and prosperous businesses to drive economic growth,” he said.
Mr. Kyeremanten also hinted that government will, in the next couple months, institutionalise its engagement with the business community with the launch of its public-private sector dialogue mechanism.
Such a mechanism, he noted, will be rounded-off with a Ghana Business Summit where a business compact will be signed with specific targets for both government and the business community as partners in development.