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Business News of Friday, 28 August 2020


Govt targets improved regulatory environment with launch of new portal

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen

The country cannot develop without the private sector, as it remains critical in helping to finance the government’s industrialisation drive and its vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid”, especially in the post-COVID era, says Alan Kyerematen, Trade and Industry Minister.

With government’s vision of making the country the most business-friendly nation in Africa, one of the most significant success factors for enhanced private sector performance and growth is the effectiveness of the private sector’s contribution in defining and improving the policy and regulatory environment within which it operates.

It is in this regard that the Ghana Business Regulatory Reforms (BRR) portal, which will enable policymakers easily consult businesses and individuals affected by regulations in an efficient, transparent and timely way, has been launched in Accra.

Speaking at the launch, the Trade Minister explained that the development of the portal is part of efforts by the government to attract private capital.

“Private capital moves to destinations where they are pampered and where their value is recognised. All this points to the fact that we have to place the private sector at the centre of what we do. And in doing that, we have to create an environment to attract them,” he said.

The purpose of the BRR portal is to provide open and transparent access to users of the portal to enable them to regularly engage in policy and regulatory reforms.

It is made up of two components, comprising the Ghana business consultations portal and e-registry of business laws and regulations in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, indicated that government will grant targeted regulatory relief to SMEs and gradually phase in standard rules as the firms begin to grow.

This will be used to promote subcontracting linkages between SMEs and large businesses in strategic anchor industries, he added.

The BRR programme is expected to establish a permanent mechanism for structured public-private dialogue, which will involve regular consultations between government and the private sector.

It is also expected to provide an ex-post assessment of the impacts of proposed or existing policies or regulations, and to consider other alternatives to achieve policy objectives. The programme will establish regulatory reform units (RRUs) in 12 selected MDAs, for now, as an institutional mechanism for conducting regulatory reforms.

The portal will enable government, working in consultation with the private sector, to anchor its business environment reforms on a permanent and sustainable basis, in line with the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), and regulatory bodies will use the portal to gather information and evidence to assist in formulating policy and drafting or revising business regulations.

Other benefits of the portal are that it will help elicit public feedback on the likely costs and benefits of new business regulations and reduce the cost of stakeholder consultation activities.

Representatives from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, and Department for International Development (DFID) all welcomed the portal, stressing that it will support the creation of a sound investment climate in the country.