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Business News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017


Ghanaian businesses are not pragmatic – Dr. Ha-Joon Chang

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The Director of the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Ha-Joon Chang has advised Ghanaian businesses to employ pragmatism in their economic ventures. He made this call to action during a policy forum by the Institute for Economic Affairs.

He used Korea and Japan as reference points in his presentation, stating that these countries did not have their industrial prowess on a silver platter.

“Go back to 50 years, 60 years, they said that about Korea and Japan. Go back 150 years, they said that about the Germans. So you could fail along the way, not that you are always going to succeed,” he asserted.
According to him, Ghanaian businesses fail to take certain risks due to the negative mind-set of industry players.

“When you read these self-help books and watch these Disney movies, they tell you that if you believe in yourself, there is nothing you cannot achieve. But when it comes to developing countries, no. I mean how can Ghana ever think about making cars? It is not possible. We cannot do that. But why? The worst thing you can do is restrict your ambitions from within. So if the biggest aim of yours is to beat the Swiss in making chocolate, you might achieve it but you are never going to beat them in making machines and industrial chemicals,” he added.

He encouraged Ghanaians to aim high, set realistic goals and employ pragmatism in their business ventures.

“Because some countries have tried to live too much – people growing rice and they want to build aeroplanes. You have to get there step by step. You have to make certain jumps, take certain risks, but it has to be a calculated risk,” he advised.

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