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Business News of Friday, 23 November 2012

Source: B&FT

Job-creation our main agenda for 2013’- PV Obeng

Sustainable job-creation will be the government’s main focus-agenda for next year, Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has affirmed.

“Government is determined to enhance the environment for public and private sector investments and contribute to a more sustainable job-creation agenda.

“The key measure is managing our public finances well to support major structural changes as we invest in sustainable growth, development and jobs -- with involvement of the businesses and households.”

Mr. Obeng was speaking on behalf of the President John Mahama at the maiden Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference. It was organised by Ghana Investment Promotion Centre in collaboration with the ministries of Finance, and Trade and Industry, Dominion University College Business School, and the Africa Business Media.

The event offered participants the opportunity to gain insights into the plans and projections of the economy’s managers, and also fostered healthy business networking discussions among CEOs from top corporate institutions in the country which constitute the Ghana Club 100. It was under the theme ‘Strategy for a Good Year 2013’.

Outlining national strategic plans, Mr. Obeng explained that the outlook for 2013 is to pursue credible public debt policies to balance infrastructure development with debt sustainability.

He reiterated that the economic outlook for 2013 and the near-term is positive and bright -- “provided we support them with bold government initiatives.

“This has been an election year and, as we know, the exuberance of campaigning or subtle threats and signals to withhold or slowdown aid or grants and loans can worsen economic indicators.

“Government has been decisive, nonetheless, and we will implement the long-term plans to grow the economy and create jobs.”

He explained that government has embarked on credible integrated plans to renew existing infrastructure and invest in new; and that the main departure from the past is projects are now fully-funded and derived from the medium-term plan of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.

“Government will coordinate the activities of, and work through, institutions such as GIPC, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to make the environment for business operations attractive,” Mr. Obeng said.

The President of the Dominion University College, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, urged players of the private sector to feed their business plans into the country’s development plan.

“Even though some businesses in Ghana have not aligned their plans with it since assumption of office by the government that ushered in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) as a medium-term development strategy to replace the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRSII).”

Dr. Spio-Garbrah indicated that feeding business plans to the country’s medium development strategy (GSGDA) will enable institutions to project into the incoming year.

“For instance, the companies can forecast about inflation; the strength of the cedi; budget deficit, among others.”

Chairman of the GIPC, Dr. Ishmael Yamson congratulated the organisers of the conference for their initiative.

“The conference has indeed provided a platform for the business community to adequately strategise for the following year, based on the economic outlook as will be presented by a number of economic experts,” Dr. Yamson remarked.

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