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Business News of Saturday, 12 January 2013

Source: GNA

Economist appeals to government to “listen” to the business community

An Economist has appealed to the NDC administration to listen to suggestions made by the business community to ensure that an enabling environment for economic growth, job creation and its sustainability was created for all.

Dr Alexander Tweneboa, Former President of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) who made the appeal, said it was only when Government “listened”, “understood”, and “acted” on the challenges of the private sector that could result in rapid socio-economic development.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the weekend in Accra in a telephone interview.

Dr Tweneboah described the assurance President Mahama gave that he would support the business community, in his inaugural address delivered on January 7th 2013 at the Independence Square, as a good and welcoming one.

He called on the President to give “credible leaning” to his pledge, adding that “we (business community) only hoped he would stick to his word and try to be an ally, as he said”.

Dr Tweneboah maintained that there still remained more to be done to enable the private sector to thrive.

He said though Government had put in place prudent fiscal policies to stimulate and increase growth as well as to reduce inflation to single digits, the cost of doing business was still very high and “Ghana still has the second highest bank interest rate in Africa”, he said.

Dr Tweneboah expressed worry that it was cheaper to borrow money in neighbouring Nigeria and Togo than it was in Ghana adding that “if pragmatic measures are not taken to address the situation, Ghana would soon become a consumer society”.

Dr Tweneboah made reference to India, Malaysia and Singapore saying that those countries created favourable environment to sustain their business communities.

He said Ghana needed to imitate such countries and to roll out a 10-year strategic plan to consolidate Ghana’s economic gains and to leap into greater heights.

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