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General News of Saturday, 7 January 2017

Source: Class FM

Ghana open to business again - President Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that his government will ensure that businesses thrive.

Mr Akufo-Addo had promised to cut down taxes and remove impediments that serve as challenges in doing business in Ghana.

Speaking during his investiture in Accra on Saturday January 7, President Akufo-Addo, who was sworn in as the fifth president of Ghana under the Fourth Republic, said: “The doors of Ghana are open again; there could not be a better opportunity to make it in Ghana. Ghana is open to business again”.

He was emphatic that the New Patriotic Party government “will provide vision, direction, and shine the light down the path of our entrepreneurs”, adding: “We rely on a vibrant private sector to spur growth and create jobs. It is time to imagine and dream again. Time to try that business idea; we will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy.”

His comments come in the wake of calls by Adam Afriyie, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana for the new government to implement business-focused policies to develop the country’s economy.

Mr Afriyie holds the view that in order “to remain competitive, Ghana needs to return to a pro-business policy through efforts to reduce the time and costs of doing business”.

The Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Windsor in the UK admitted that a business-friendly environment is a central concern for the president-elect, who is conscious that Ghana’s peers in sub-Saharan Africa are reforming faster and going further.

“Kenya, for example, improved its Doing Business ranking from 113 to 92 in the last year alone. Ghana faces competition from other countries, including in its own region, that have cottoned on to the importance of institutional reforms and cutting red tape – initiatives that allow businesses to thrive, create jobs, and pay taxes.

“As the new government takes office I hope that, with UK support, it will focus on building the economic policy environment needed for business to flourish,” Mr Afriyie indicated in an article on Friday, January 6, 2017.

He said a lack of prioritisation or predictability in the business environment combined with “burdensome regulations reduce private investor confidence. And the impact of last-minute changes in regulation, such as tax increments or investment registration fees introduced by government agencies, can be confusing and costly for business”.

However, Mr Akufo has assured an industrial economy will be his government’s focus.

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