Asare Adjei, President of AGI
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says the current crisis confronting the country calls for immediate action by government to avert further deterioration of the country’s economy.
AGI made the call at a meeting held recently in Accra subsequent to the review of the 2 nd quarter report of the AGI Barometer survey.
AGI Business Barometer for the second quarter of this year recorded the worst ever business confidence index of 22.42 down from 90.13 in the first quarter.
James Asare Adjei, president of AGI, who disclosed this yesterday in Accra during the presentation of the AGI barometer survey report said ‘the economic outlook and business confidence will worsen if steps are not taken immediately to stabilize micro-economic conditions.’
The AGI barometer captures business sentiments across various sectors of the Ghanaian economy on a quarterly basis.
According to him, ‘Businesses continue to incur huge foreign exchange losses while industry continues to shrink. With the rising cost of doing business, businesses risk shutting down if the trend persists. The present economic conditions are not conducive enough to attract foreign (local and foreign) investments which could generate the much needed employment.’
In view of government’s apparent inability to ensure fiscal discipline, it said, ‘AGI hopes that the engagement with the IMF would be managed to ensure that the country obtains value for money in all economic transactions. Further increases in the tax burden on the formal private sector risks killing the hen that lays golden egg.
‘AGI is requesting active involvement of industry in the IMF engagement processes to ensure maximum benefit for the entire country. AGI is ready to lend its support.’
It said stakeholders dialogue sessions and policy measures intended to restore macro-economic stability did not seem to have made any significant impact.
‘AGI is requesting the Bank of Ghana (BoG) foreign exchange measures which were announced in February and which have not succeeded in stopping the currency depreciation be completely scraped. This is the time to reassure the whole country that foreign exchange paid into our banks are welcome and will be secured.’
The AGI added that it was aware of the commencement of the work of the implementation advisory group of the National Economic Forum report.
It called for an action plan with specific timelines to enhance the monitoring.
AGI also indicated that it would monitor the implementation process.
By Samuel Boadi
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