Mr David Ofosu-Dorte, Managing Partner at AB and David Law Affiliates, has called for the creation of a Ministry for Business and Innovations to formulate and implement policies to deal with issues affecting business enterprises in the country.
He explained that the new Ministry should develop a strong, diversified, and innovative business enterprises, as well as provide the appropriate technical, professional and managerial support to businesses to enhance economic growth.
Mr Ofosu-Dorte made the call during a panel discussion in Accra on the Ghana Journalists Association programme dubbed: “Business Advocate” on Ghana Television.
The programme is supported by BUSAC Fund, Denmark Embassy, United States Agency for International Development and the European Union.
Speaking on the topic: “Raising Business Competitiveness in Ghana”, Mr Ofosu-Dorte said the establishment of the Parliamentary Select Committee on business would help advance the performance of Ghanaian businesses and make them more competitive globally.
He said the creation of the new Ministry was critical because the private sector was the engine for economic growth and would help address barriers faced by business enterprises.
Concerns have been expressed in business circles both locally and internationally, about the country’s falling business competiveness in sub-Saharan Africa.
Various arguments have been advanced by economic experts and top amongst those reasons are challenges of macro-economic management, infrastructure development, governance and labour market efficiency.
The latest Global Business Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum for 2015/2016 shows that Ghana has dropped eight places going down from 111 to 119, out of 140 countries.
The Report cited access to financing, foreign currency regulations, tax rates and corruption as the most problematic issues that hindered doing business in Ghana.
Some global market watchers have said that Ghana’s once bright petals of economic performance appear to be withering away, with some international benchmarks indicating that countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda have overtaken her.
Mr Ofosu-Dorte noted that the creation of the Ministry would create a favourable atmosphere for local businesses.
Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) said a survey conducted by the Association had revealed that business confidence in the country’s economy was waning.
He attributed the situation to the erratic power supply in the country, which had resulted in redundancy and the collapse of many businesses.
He said the AGI Business Barometer Report for the first quarter of 2015 also revealed that the confidence level of Ghanaian businesses dropped from 98 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 85 per cent currently.
Mr Twum-Akwaboah supported the idea of creating a Ministry of Business and Innovations, and called for a broader consultation in addressing the challenges faced by businesses in the country.
Mr Joe Tackie, Chief Executive Officer of the Private Sector Development Strategy II at the Ministry of Trade and Industry stressed the need for the country to improve on its skilled labour to be competitive globally.