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Business News of Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Source: GNA

Ghana Investors Advisory Council hails economy

Akosombo, Nov. 5, GNA- Ghana Investors' Advisory Council (GIAC) has hailed the establishment and operationalisation of the international financial services centre, by the government, as key to the achievement of national developmental goals.

The council also acclaimed the critical reforms in the labour, land administration, public sector, agriculture and agri-business, to build investor confidence and firm level of competitiveness in Ghana. The GIAC made this known in a communiqu=E9, it issued after a two-day meeting at Akosombo in the Eastern Region, which ended on November 1.

The council, which is chaired by President John Agyekum Kufuor, was inaugurated in May 2002, to advise the Head of State on the strategies to be taken to attract investments into the economy and improve the business climate.

The meeting, which was attended by 33 members and four observers, deliberated on the progress made regarding recommendations members made in April 2006, which include mutually agreed specific interventions. The communiqu=E9 praised the liberalisation and improved management of the foreign exchange market and the strong re-denominated currency, which it described as stable, with an impressively low record of depreciation.

Members commended government for the passage of legislation to facilitate the establishment of private employment centres and consistently improvement of the minimum wage from 0.31 Ghana Cedis in 2000 to 2.25 Ghana Cedis presently.

The communiqu=E9 acknowledged the complementary achievements in the energy, communications and transport sectors.

"Specifically we cite the following: The sourcing of funding and commencement of work on the Bui Dam, the facilitation of private sector investment in energy delivery; the phenomenal increase in access to telecommunication services from 350,000 in 2001 to 10 million people." The communiqu=E9 noted that despite problems like macro-economic instability, extremely high interest rates and high cost of doing business, low investment, the energy crisis, escalating petroleum costs and rising food prices, Ghana has achieved remarkable success. "Ghana is now regarded by the World Bank as one of the 10 top countries in the world and the best place to do business in West Africa. "We note and highly applaud the turning around of the economy from Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status to one that has achieved GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rates of over six per cent in recent years and is highly respected internationally."

The council pledged its commitment towards Ghana's forward march. 05 Nov. 08

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