Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance on Wednesday said government will in 2020, make a strong push for domestic revenue mobilisation, business regulatory reforms, and intensify drive for foreign direct investment, digitalisation, science and technology.
He said this would consolidate the gains achieved within the last three years and drive government economic transformation forward in line with the President’s Consolidated Programme and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Mr Ofori-Atta said this when he presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament in Accra.
On domestic Revenue Mobilization, the Minister said “we will take radical policy and institutional reforms towards raising our tax-to-GDP ratio over the medium term from under 13 per cent currently to around 20 per cent.”
He said the focus would be on efficiency and base- broadening rather than imposing new taxes on our people and businesses.
“This way, we can raise our domestic contribution to our ambitious transformation agenda, in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid vision,” he added.
Mr Ofori-Atta said in the area of business regulatory reforms, a three-year reform initiative, coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, would be implemented to make Ghana one of the most transparently and efficiently regulated business environments in Africa.
He said this would empower the local businesses and also help the government realise its ambition of making Ghana the Gateway to Business in West Africa.
Mr Ofori-Atta said on intensified drive for Foreign Drive Investment (FDI), government needed higher amounts of external private capital to complement Government resources in driving their transformation.
He said: “We will aggressively go after FDI and to this end, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre would be better resourced with human and financial capital.”
The Minister said in addition, Government had established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to provide coordinated policy guidance and support to the FDI drive; Enhanced Financial Support to Local Enterprises.
He said government would deploy early in 2020 a number of initiative to enhance the access of their business to finance, including medium and long- term capital.
These include the new National Development Bank, the Ghana Incentives-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), the Ghana Commodity Exchange, and a strengthened Venture Capital Trust Fund; International Financial Services Centre.
He said work was progressing steadily on preparations to realise government vision of establishing Ghana as a regional financial services centre in West Africa.
“The Concept Note has been approved by government and work is ongoing to draft an International Financial Services Bill for broader stakeholder consultations.”
On digitization, he said “we aim to use digitization to transform our development path in line with the global realities of the 4th Industrial Revolution and will continue the impressive achievements made over the last three years in using digitisation to improve government services and make it more accessible to Ghanaians”.
He said government would also intensify efforts to support the development of Fintech and the knowledge economy in Ghana.
He said government would accelerate financing for infrastructure by actively leveraging innovative sources of finance and strengthening the capacity the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund to tap into global financial markets, including blended finance and sovereign wealth funds to support private sector development.
The Minister said the foundation for industrialisation was science and technology and government had resolved to complement its advances in human capital in the education sector with a push to develop the national technological capability.
“To this end, government, through the Ministry of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation will establish the Ghana Design and Manufacturing Centre (GDMC). A centre of excellence in design, manufacturing and technology commercialization, GDMC will facilitate the incubation of new technological industries and serve as a resource for national research institutions and private industry,” he added.