Business News of Thursday, 21 March 2013
Source: Graphic Business
Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terpker, has urged the private sector to invest in public infrastructural projects, especially those that can generate income to pay for the investment over time.
He said the government’s investment strategy was to lessen public debt through public-private partnerships to finance commercially viable infrastructural projects. Mr Terkper made the call at a breakfast meeting organised by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Ghana (CCCG) on the topic: “Business Opportunities in 2013 through the lens of the Finance”.
He said the strategy would help reduce the level of government guarantees and loans for financing infrastructure, thereby reducing the budget deficit. The economy recorded a budget deficit of 12.1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in 2012 and has set a nine per cent deficit target for 2013.
Under its debt management strategy, the government intends to reduce borrowing and higher borrowing cost.
Notable among these are broadening the range of instruments offered in the domestic markets, extending the yield curve by issuing seven- and 10-year fixed rate bonds, restricting non-concessional loans to economically viable and self financing projects.
Mr Terpker said with good planning and dedication, the deficit could be reduced with less government borrowing to free up resources for the private sector. The President of the CCCG, Mr Herbert Morrison, said the meeting was to highlight the ever changing business environment.
He said the Chamber was also co-operating with the Canadian Council of Africa to promote and improve the business relationship between the two countries for mutual benefit.
In this connection, Mr Morison said, a trade mission from Ghana would visit Canada later in the year to explore business opportunities with the view to expanding Ghana-Canada relationship and to deepen bilateral trade.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mrs Trudy Kernighan, said there was the need to deal with the current utility challenges to enable the country to accommodate investments. There are currently more than 100 Canadian companies operating in the country.