Finance Minister urges private sector to invest in public infrastructure

Road 2Finance Minister, Mr Seth Terpker, on Tuesday urged the private sector to invest in public infrastructure projects, especially those that can generate income to pay for the investment overtime.

He said government’s investment strategy was lessen public debt through encouraging the private sector to engage in commercially viable and self-financing infrastructural projects.

Mr Terkper, made the call at breakfast meeting held on the topic: “Business Opportunities in 2013 through the lens of the Finance”, organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Ghana (CCCG).

He said the strategy would help reduce the level of government loans for financing infrastructure, and in providing guarantees for projects, thereby reducing the budget deficit.

Government recorded a budget deficit of 12.1 percent in 2012, and has set a nine percent deficit target for 2013.

Under its debt management strategy, government intends to reduce borrowing and higher borrowing cost.

Notable among these are broadening the range of instruments offered in the domestic markets, extending the yield curve by issuance of seven and 10 year fixed rate bonds, restricting non concessional loans to economically viable and self financing projects.

Mr Terpker said with good planning and dedication, the deficit level would be met and with less government borrowing free-up resources for the private sector.

He said the two major implications of Ghana’s middle income status were that of losing access to concessional financing and grants, and the need for the country to tap financial resources through the capital market.

Consequently, Mr Terkper said the ability to deal with the deficit and to ensure that the country’s debt were sustainable, were of major concern as those factors were important in determining the country’s debt rating and attractiveness in the international market.

He encouraged the private sector to also invest in the power sector, leasing and real estate.

On the high cost of borrowing, the Minister said it was a concern and that government was looking at longer tenor bonds and not the short-end of the market to borrow its resources.

Mr Herbert Morrison, President of the CCCG, said the meeting was to highlight the ever changing business environment.

He said the Chamber was also co-operating with the Canadian Council of Africa to promote and improve the business relationship between the two countries for their mutual benefit.

In this connection, Mr Morison, said a trade mission from Ghana would visit Canada later this year to explore business opportunities with the view of expanding Ghana-Canada relationship and to deepen bilateral trade.

He called for the reduction of the current impact of the power crisis on industrial growth.

Mrs Trudy Kernighan, Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, said there was the need to deal with the current challenges to make Ghana accommodating to investment.

There are currently more than 100 Canadian companies operating in the country.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.