The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jereon Verheul, has said the recent economic crisis that the country is facing has become very critical; therefore, multilateral collaborations will be needed in finding solutions to it.
According to him, the main thing to do is restore economic confidence – which will help curtail depreciation of the cedi and as well give the country access to the international markets; and this can be done through assistance from the World Bank, African Development Bank, among others.
“Absolutely, there is a problem. And what I stressed in my speech is that we need international collaboration in order to get through this difficult economic time. So we are trying to help Ghana as much as possible, mainly through multilateral collaboration because the problems are so huge that one country cannot help to solve it. We need the assistance of multilateral organisations like the World Bank, like the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund to help in this particularly difficult time.
“The main thing to do is restore confidence in the economy and restore confidence in the economic policy of government, because that is what will help to stem depreciation of the cedi and help secure access to international financial markets, because this is the problem Ghana is facing,” he said during a networking cocktail event of the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber and Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council at the South African High Commissioner’s residence.
For him, another important thing to also consider is enhancing local production, rather than depending mainly on imports. He said the country has a good climate with vast lands and labour to produce, for which his office is ready to support Ghana produce more locally.
President of the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber, Grant Webber – speaking on the current economic situation and its effects on the Chamber, mentioned that the challenges of taking care of their staff and team members have become incredibly difficult.
Mr. Webber further predicted that the next six months could be worse than the current situation. In view of this, he said, the chamber is constantly looking at ways to collaborate, work together and come up with good ideas.
“We have different think-tanks wherein we tackle issues of the day. And we are busy doing that right now. To be honest, there are very few decent solutions that we can adopt and say ‘this is going to get us out of the situation we are in now’.
“Last year we included the French chamber, and the year before we included the Italian chamber – and it has worked very well. We do business between our communities, and that has worked well. The focus now is on our collaborations; not so much on business but about solving issues,” he noted.
Mr. Webber stated that there are too many negative narratives going around about the country in the area of tax collection/rent-seeking behaviour, which is making foreign investors decline opportunities to do business in the country. These, he said, are practical issues which impact their lives very negatively.