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Private sector’s engine needs government oil – AGI Boss

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BusinessesGhana’s private sector as the engine of growth can only ‘crank’ when governments become committed to provide the right policies (oil) on a sustainable and uninterrupted basis, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) boss has noted.

Nana Owusu-Afari, President of the AGI, speaking to participants at this year’s etv.Ghana Made-in-Ghana products promotion’s forum in Accra on Monday, said: “the state should allow the private sector to be the engine of growth, but the government’s role is critical.”

“This is because it is the government’s policies that create the right conditions necessary for growth and development.

“Nations across the world are protecting their own economies and we should not open up the economy to all sort of inferior products to the detriment of the growth of our local industries.

“We need our government to hold our (local businesses) hands as other developed nations are doing to their local producers and manufacturers,” he added.

The etv.Ghana Made in Ghana month is September each year. The television station initiated the idea to help promote the consumption of locally made products and to engender improvement in the quality of Ghanaian goods.

Nana Owusu Afari said in addition to putting in the right policy measures by government, local firms also must build the needed capacity to be able to produce products that would meet international standards.

“The stage is now set for the government to support the private sector to bring the millionaires and billionaires in the Ghanaian,” the AGI boss said to remind government but indicated that for the past years government had been sensitive to the private sector’s concerns.

“We are currently talking to government on various levels on how to develop the private sector”. This, he said, had inured into government’s introduction of the Private Sector Development Strategy Programme and the Ghana’s Industrial Policy.

Mr Ernest Boateng, General Manager of Global Media Alliance, said the call to patronize locally made goods, “does not require much of a lifestyle change because there are so many made in Ghana products available in the country.

“If we are not careful these industries will collapse. Let’s buy and create jobs in Ghana,” he said and noted that etv.Ghana had set out to facilitate the improvement and patronage of locally made goods. But he underscored that standards of locally made products must not be compromised.

Part of the problem according to Mr Amponsah Badiako of the Ghana Standards Authority was the desire of the Ghanaian importer to bring in everything that would sell for profit.

He said the Authority believed Ghanaians had the capacity to produce to meet internationally accepted standards but indicated that some did not have the patience to go through the needed certification requirements in order to operate efficiently.

Standards, he said, were for safety, quality and protection, hence producers must always ensure that the right things were done.

Source: GNA

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