‘Ghana’s economy is in the right hands’- Bawumia

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Sept. 18, GNA – Ghana’s recent ratings
by the Standards and Poor indicating that the economy has improved from a B –
status to a solid B, with a stable outlook, is a confirmation that we’re in the
right direction, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said Tuesday.

He explained: “We’re not where we want to be,
but we believe that we’re on course. Our commonly known macroeconomic
indicators-inflation rate, interest rate, exchange rate may hover around,
moving ups and downs and buffeted  by
occasional headways from domestic and external causes.

“But as all good sailors know, rough and
turbulent seas are no indication that you’re not sailing well, but what is most
important is to know where you’re, and whether you’re sailing a seaworthy
path”.

Dr Bawumia said since the Nana Akufo-Addo-led
Government took over the administration of the country, the economy had
experienced positive outcomes, with the growth rate moving from 3.7 per cent in
2016 to 8.5 per cent at the end of 2017.

Opening this year’s Ghana Industrial Summit
and Exhibition, the Vice President  said
Agricultural growth was trending upward, while industrial growth rate moved
from a negative half per cent in 2016 to 17.7 per cent at the end of 2017.

Additionally, the Vice President said, the inflation
rate continued to decline from 15.4 per cent in 2016 to the current rate of 9.9
per cent.

The Treasury Bill Rate had declined, while the
country’s trading position was significantly strengthening, he said.

Also, the Gross International Reserves now
covers 3.9 months of imports.

The debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio
has also declined from 73 per cent in 2016 to 64.4 per cent, as at June this
year.

The Vice President emphasised: “So be rest
assured, this economy is in good hands, we’re striving for a low inflationary
rate, a low interest rate environment, a stable and predictable external value
of the cedi”.

Standards and poor is an international rating
agency.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is
organising the three-day Industrial Summit, in Accra, under theme:
“International Partnerships for Value-Added Industrial and Local Content
Development”.

It is providing a platform for policy-makers,
captains of industry and entrepreneurs to discuss pressing national economic
issues and proffer workable solutions to them.

It also enables businesses and entrepreneurs
to showcase their products, network and form partnerships for economic
development.

Vice President Bawumia thus used the platform
to outline the Government’s seven key pillars for building a strong and
resilient economy with the private sector as the engine of growth.

They are: Restoring and maintaining a strong
macroeconomic environment; Developing the capacity of the human capital;
Ensuring compliance with the Local Content Law; and Finding solutions to the
energy challenges; Reducing the cost of credit; Enhancing port efficiency; and
Formalising the economy through digitisation.

He said it was the Government’s priority to
build strong fundamentals for the economy, which would lead to a stable and
predictable macro-economic environment for the private sector to thrive.

He said the government was building a stable
and resilient economy that could withstand both internal and external shocks
and striking the right balance between fiscal consolidation and growth, saying;
“We’re putting in place measures to ensure the irreversibility of the economic
gains achieved so far”.

The Vice President assured that the nation
would move from the export of raw materials and add value to the agriculture
products, citing the “One-District, One Factory” initiative .

Strategically, he said, value would be added
to mineral resources.

To that end, a Legislation had been enacted by
Parliament for the establishment of the Integrated Bauxite and Aluminium
Development Corporation, which would spearhead the Integrated Bauxite and
Aluminium Industry.

He said apart from the setting up of the
bauxite and aluminium value chain, there was the need for coordination of
activities such as the mining, smelting and downstream industry so that the
Ghanaian would be ultimate beneficiary.

Vice President Bawumia announced that the
Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) had been brought back to production
thus, producing at 35 per cent of its capacity.

“We want to build an alumina refinery right
here … so that we can mine and smelter bauxite and we have begun the process
of selecting the partners for the alumina refineries, and we are hoping that by
the end of the year, we can begin the process,” Dr Bawumia added.

He explained that refining bauxite locally
would have multiplier effects and the nation stood to gain more benefits.

GNA  

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