The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has commended the private sector for the critical role it played and continues to play in the economic recovery, growth and transformation agenda of the country, especially driving the economic recovery efforts of the government during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Minister, the private sector has indeed proved to be the engine of the economy not only in words but in actions with its resilience and ingenuity.
“In Ghana, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and there were serious disruptions in global supply chains, it was the private sector that quickly marshalled its forces to cushion the impact of the pandemic, by producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Sanitizers, Personal Care, and pharmaceutical products.
“I make these remarks to establish the fact that the role of the private sector in national development can and should not be underestimated. With or without the incidence of natural disasters, it is a well-established fact in development history that the most powerful economies in the world are those that maintain a strong focus on private sector development,” he emphasized.
Mr. Kyerematen echoed that significant among what the private sector is still doing that must be touted is that plans are far advanced by the private sector to produce the nation’s own vaccines within the short to medium term.
He further stated that considering the bold efforts of the private sector to support government’s agenda, building a resilient and productive private sector to position Ghana as the leading Manufacturing Hub in Africa is the topmost priority of government.
The Trade Minister, therefore, admonished the various state institutions and government machinery that when they provide support to the private sector, it must not be construed as doing the private sector a favour but rather incentivizing them to risk their capital to create jobs and increase income levels of the population.
“However, in the same vein, since there is a cost associated with incentivizing the private sector, government expects that the private sector will also fulfil their obligations by paying taxes and contributing their quota to national development,” he stated.
The Minister made these remarks in his address at the inaugural Presidential Business Summit, an initiative which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with the Office of the President, selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The summit, which is described as part of the Government’s Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) framework, to help improve the business environment in the country, is expected to develop an actionable Business Compact, with clear commitments from both Government and private sector, as government has expressed commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the compact.
Delivering the keynote address, reiterated that it would take the resilience and ingenuity of the private sector to guarantee economic growth and create sustainable jobs for the youth in the country.
According to the president, to be able to strengthen the country’s position as an economic powerhouse in West Africa, create substantial job opportunities for the teaming youth, and sustain economic growth, there is a need to fully recognize the critical role of private sector hence government would create a continues constructive dialogue with the private sector towards realizing this vision.
“I have directed Ministers and relevant heads of state institutions to participate actively in ensuring that there is a constructive dialogue between Government and the private sector towards realizing our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.”
“We will continue to strengthen and deepen our engagement with the private sector towards realizing this goal,” he said.