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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

We must change our economy from import dependency to export driven – Mahama –

Former President John Drmanai Mahama has observed that there is absolutely no doubt that businesses thrive in a stable macro-economic environment, where revenue measures are designed to motivate local production for growth and fiscal consolidation.

Additionally, he said, the industry needs protection from trade vulnerabilities.

These and many others are the responsibilities of government, he said

Speaking to members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) on Tuesday, April 2, he said “There is consensus that to provide a long-term solution to our economic challenges, we must work towards changing the structure of our economy. Let us find opportunity in our current adversity. We must change our economy from import dependency and make it an export driven one. It is for this reason that I commit to partnering industry to develop and implement an Industrial Policy that will help transform our economy in line with my vision of Building the Ghana We Want.

“Some discussions have gone on already in this regard. I therefore wish to use this opportunity to extend an invitation to industry to work with our policy team on this policy.”

Under this policy, he said his administration will provide the needed support for large scale agricultural production to achieve food self-sufficiency and provide the much-needed raw materials to feed industry.

The next National Demoxratic Congress (NDC) government under this policy will also incentivize the indigenous private sector to capture the commanding heights of the economy in every sector to reduce financial outflows occasioned by huge profit repatriation, the flagbearer of the NDC said.

“Government will give priority in procurement to Ghanaian businesses in terms of it budget spending. We will work to revamp and reignite strategic industries such as the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) while Boosting the production of rice, sugar, tomato, fish, poultry, meat and meat products vegetable cooking oil and pharmaceutical products. Once local capacity in the production of these and many other products is achieved, we shall place restrictions on the unbridled importation.

“Under the next NDC government’s industrial policy, we shall support all 16 regions to grow
industries based on their comparative advantage and partner the private sector to establish
industrial processing zones in the various regions for especially crops such as palm, cashew, cotton, groundnuts, cocoa, soya, cassava, shea nut among others.
All these will be integrated within the 24-Hour Economy policy. I am aware that many
industries are producing far below their capacities due to constraints such as availability of raw materials, access to credit, high utility tariffs, high taxes, access to markets among others.”

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