Captains of industry and commerce have demanded policies and initiatives that will uphold the nation’s economic stability ahead of the 2024 budget presentation this month.
That would be essential to guarantee good planning, investing in company growth to generate employment opportunities for Ghanaians, and paying timely and appropriate taxes to support government income.
Based on the current economic recovery, the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) and global rating firm Fitch Solutions have predicted a three per cent growth for Ghana by the end of 2023.
The recovery has produced an average of 3.2 per cent growth in the first two quarters of 2023, which is mostly attributable to the execution of the US$3 billion loan-support plan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) have also shown a reduction in the inflation rate from 53.6 per cent at the beginning of 2023 to 38.1 per cent as of September 2023.
As of September 2023, the local currency, the Cedi, has depreciated year-to-date cumulatively by 23.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.
Nonetheless, industry and the trading communities are of the view that a reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT), removal of COVID-19 levy, and special import levy, in addition to further decline in the policy rate, inflation, and cedi depreciation would create a conducive environment for businesses and trading activities
“The stability we’re experiencing now, especially, for the first two quarters of 2023, is good for us,” Dr Joseph Obeng. President, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
“Inflation has responded positively, and depreciation of the cedi has not been bad, but these are not at an appreciable level for businesses and industry to thrive,” he explained.
“As it is now, we’re looking for stability in the economy, a situation where businesses can plan, invest and retool businesses, to create the needed jobs, especially, for the teaming youth,” Dr. James Asare-Adjei, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Asadtek Group said.