Private sector role in economic recovery critical – Trade Minister

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Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister for Trade and Industry has reiterated the critical role of the private sector in the economic recovery, growth and transformation agenda of the country.

He noted that the sector had proven to be the engine of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and called for support for players in the sector.

The Minister made this observation at the inaugural Presidential Business Summit, an initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Office of the President, selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The summit is part of Government’s Public Private Dialogue framework to help improve the business environment in the country.

“In Ghana, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and there were serious disruptions in global supply chains, it was the private sector that quickly marshalled its forces to cushion the impact of the pandemic by producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Sanitizers, Personal Care, and pharmaceutical products,” he noted.

The Minister said, “I make these remarks to establish the fact that the role of the private sector in national development can and should not be underestimated”.

He said with or without the incidence of natural disasters, it was a well-established fact in development history that the most powerful economies in the world were those that maintained a strong focus on private sector development.

Mr Kyerematen said considering the bold efforts of the private sector to support Government’s agenda, building a resilient and productive private sector to position Ghana as the leading Manufacturing Hub in Africa was topmost priority of Government.

He, therefore, called on all state institutions and Government machinery to provide support to the private sector.

The Minister said such supports must not be taken as doing the private sector a favour but rather, incentivizing the players to risk their capital to create jobs and increase income levels of the population.

“However, in the same vein, since there is a cost associated with incentivizing the private sector, Government expects that the private sector will also fulfil its obligations by paying taxes and contributing their quota to national development,” he added.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said to be able to strengthen the country’s position as an economic powerhouse in West Africa, create substantial job opportunities for the teaming youth, and sustain economic growth, there was a need to fully recognise the critical role of private sector.

“Government will, therefore, create a continues constructive dialogue with the private sector towards realizing this vision,” he said.

The President said, “I have directed Ministers and relevant Heads of State institutions to participate actively in ensuring that there is constructive dialogue between Government and the private sector towards realizing our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid”.

He assured that Government would continue to strengthen and deepen its engagement with the private sector towards realising that goal.

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