Economy being revived despite setbacks – President

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday said the economy is on the path of recovery and growth, in spite of the difficult economic circumstances inherited from the past administration.

He said the economic policies being promoted by his government are fixing the fundamentals of the economy, which will enable the country to realise the vision of becoming an industrialised nation.

President Akufo-Addo made the assertion in an address at the ongoing 5th Financial Times Africa Summit in London, United Kingdom.

He said with some degree of success, his government “has stabilised our currency despite the recent challenge of a stronger dollar, and has reduced significantly inflation from 15.4% we inherited in 2016 to 9.9% today; and, moderately, the cost of borrowing”.

Additionally, a number of tax cuts have brought relief to businesses and at the same time reduced substantially the country’s fiscal deficit – from 9.3% in 2016 to 5.9% in 2017, with a projected 4.5% deficit this year.

“Indeed, the Ghanaian economy – whose growth rate stood at 3.6%, in 2016, the lowest in two decades – grew by 8.5% in 2017, and is expected to grow in 2018 by 8.3%; which, according to the International Monetary Fund, will make it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world this year,” he said.

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The president further indicated that the relative success of implementing business-friendly policies, coupled with the availability of affordable and reliable power, had ensured industry – whose growth rate stood at negative 0.5% in 2016 – grew by 17.7% in 2017; the highest sectoral growth in the economy.

He made known that a number of deliberate interventions to reduce the cost of doing business, reduce the stress associated with setting up businesses, and formalising the economy have been put in place.

“The e-business registration system, the paperless port clearance system, the digital property addressing system, the mobile interoperability platform, and issuance of the national identification card will all help quicken the pace of change to bring us into the technology-driven era and make our businesses competitive, so that we can attract the requisite investment, foreign and domestic, to spur our country’s economic transformation,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the modest successes chalked up in reviving the Ghanaian economy and creating a business-friendly environment had received major boost, with the announcement made by two global car giants, Volkswagen of Germany and Sinotruk of China, of their decision to establish assembly plants in Ghana – with the intention of in the medium-term producing their vehicles in-country.

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“Tech-giant Google has also decided to base its African Artificial Intelligence Centre in Ghana, which will make it the first in Africa. US global energy-giant ExxonMobil, and the big Norwegian oil and gas company Aker Energy, have both signed agreements with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to undertake deep-water oil and gas exploration and production,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo welcomed “the rapid enhancement of foreign direct investment in our economy”, saying the concomitant transfer of technology will enable Ghana to realise its vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

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