Business News of Wednesday, 4 April 2018
“For some strange reason we don’t save in Ghana…. we prefer to spend on funerals and some other social activities rather than putting money in the bank…” immediate past Second Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana has observed.
Speaking as a panel member at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presentation of the 2017 Business Confidence survey results, Dr. Asiama averred that the modest attitude and living of the Japanese encouraged them to save and admonished Ghanaians to adopt same.
“… just look at the way the Japanese live. You know they don’t like to drive big cars, and that is why they save a lot. Saving doesn’t really have to do with your level of income, it is a conscious effort to postpone part of today’s consumption. So it comes at a cost, when you save you’ll feel it, but then our culture as far as saving is concerned I’m sure that we need to improve…” he stated.
According to a survey undertaken by the economic body sampling businesses from 3 key sectors of the economy; Agriculture, Industry and Services, 82 percent to 83 percent of them are optimistic the business environment will improve in the first half of 2018.
From the survey, the top five constraints to doing business in Ghana include;
• High cost of raw materials • High taxes and government charges • High utility charges • High cost of credit and • Low or insufficient domestic demands
The Institute of Economic Affairs proposed some policy recommendations to be adopted by the government;
They suggested that in order to reduce the high cost of raw materials, Government must encourage local firms to source for a greater percentage of their raw materials locally for their production activities.
Government should consider creating incentives to make financial savings attractive to reduce cost of funds to the banks.
There should be a further reduction in utility tariffs for industry to aid production.
Ensure that the relative stability of the exchange rate now is sustained over a long period of time.