Lawyer and Managing Partner at AB & David, David Ofosu Dorte, has said one of the critical ways for the country to develop is by embarking on a sustained effort to become more competitive in the world.
According to Mr. Dorte, culturally, Ghana has an issue over its inability to sustain its advantage in various sectors of the economy.
“Now, when we come to competitiveness in certain sectors, as a people we have issues in terms of our inability to sustain what we have,” he said as a panelist at the 2018 Ghana Economic Forum in Accra.
He indicated that competitiveness is either recognised because it may already exist, or is created; and reckons the nation can consciously decide it wants to create competitiveness from a sector.
Ghana, he said, is at the centre of the world – located at the intersection of the equator and Greenwich meridian, which the country can take advantage of and become a logistics hub.
Government, he therefore urged, must leverage on this to position the country toward becoming more competitive.
He also added that in most of the country’s activities, it is constantly focused on doing a lot of things in bits instead of, for instance, building a specific activity in a sustained manner to become a competitive enterprise.
Citing the cocoa sector as an example, he said Ghana until the mid-80s was a leading producer of the commodity but lost its position to Cote D’Ivoire due to smuggling. However, he argued that the country can consciously decide on either cocoa or electricity and provide the needed attention to package it as a competitive sector.
Mr. Dorte also encouraged government to strive to add value to the country’s products, including roping-in smaller businesses as a means of helping them to grow into competitive brands.
To him, growth in GDP is nothing more than the growth of individual businesses; so, if the nation can grow its businesses as real conglomerates, then it will become competitive – and until that is done, the nation risks remaining a dumping-ground for cheap imports.
Also, he indicated that now that the country does not have a power famine, it can make a conscious effort to drop power tariffs for industries “in order to attract industries locating here; that’s one way to look at competitiveness”.