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Business opportunities in '06 Budget - PEF Director
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Business News of Thursday, 7 September 2006

Source: GNA

Business opportunities in '06 Budget - PEF Director

Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), on Thursday observed that it was necessary for the private sector to take advantage of business opportunities in the government's budget to expand and stay in business. Dr Boeh-Ocansey, who was speaking at a workshop on "Business Opportunities in the 2006 Budget", said the opportunities could be identified in programmes such as the revenue and expenditures programmes of the ministries, departments and the agencies (MDAs).

A vibrant and pro-active private sector should be able to identify business opportunities in the budget, he said and added: "When attention is paid to the expenditure of the government in any given year, there is a strong likelihood that specific and significant business opportunities will be discovered."

The workshop, which was organized by the PEF in Accra, discussed macro-economic indicators such as exchange and interest rates, inflation, taxes and other policy issues and also reviewed the budget. Dr Boeh-Ocansey mentioned some of the MDAS that could be a source of business opportunities to the private sector as the ministries of Education, Roads, Transport, Food and Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Mines, Private Sector Development and the President's Special Initiatives.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Tawia Akyeah, Consultant, said business opportunities in the budget were realistic and taking advantage of such opportunities depended on the motivating drive of the businessman.

Mr Akyeah said the Budget provided 60 percent of realistic opportunities but the rest of the work was up to the businessmen to go to the policy makers for more details of their expenditure for the budget year.

"The Private Sector Business Operators need to become more aware of the Budget and more focused in its response in order to achieve the desired results", he added.

"The Procurement Act requires MDAs to adopt open bidding procedures to procure many of their services. However, businesses need to define aggressive strategies to access these opportunities," he added. Mr Akyeah reiterated that the intent of the current budget was to invest in people and jobs and also to create opportunities and incentives for firms to invest productively.

He noted that the assessment of the macro economic performance of the 2005 budget was generally favourable and gave some indicators to buttress this point saying that: The GDP growth rate was 5.8 percent, the inflation rate was 13.5 percent while reserves was up to 4 months' cover.

Total receipts for 2005, he said, was projected at 35,672.5 billion cedis, while budgeted total payments was set at 35,801.3 billion cedis. In addition, the budget outlook for 2006 was positive and its stated goal was to accelerate economic growth and poverty reduction by assisting the private sector to grow and generate employment, Mr Akyeah said.

He, however, identified two setbacks, which served as constraints to the achievement of these objectives in the budget due to their vulnerable nature. These were the existence of few primary commodities for exports and the high proportion of children and youth that are mostly dependants.

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