As Ghanaian businesses continue to explore avenues to harness opportunities for growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, says government’s programmes and policies in the 2021 Budget and Economic Policy Statement are geared towards strengthening businesses.
Addressing participants of this year’s edition of the Deloitte Ghana Economic Dialogue, held under the theme, ‘2021 Budget Statement’: Making Ghana a Hub for the African Continental Free Trade Area,’ Mr. Kyerematen outlined some initiatives aimed at promoting business activities nationwide.
Mr. Kyerematen said government in response to the global pandemic, has over the last year, introduced policy interventions to stimulate economic recovery in the form of incentives and reliefs to businesses and households.
“The primary objective of the 2021 Budget Statement and the Medium Term Fiscal Framework is to implement measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic with a view to returning the economy to strong and sustainable growth while protecting lives and livelihoods.”
“The focus of the Budget and the Medium Term Plan is to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability anchored on fiscal discipline and ensuring debt sustainability; Return the economy to the fiscal responsibility threshold of 5 per cent fiscal deficit and a positive primary balance by 2024; implement reforms to increase revenue mobilization and efficiency of public expenditures and revitalize and transform the economy through the implementation of the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation Revitalization and Enterprise Support Programme (CARES).”
According to Mr. Kyerematen, the budget will also focus on building a robust financial sector to support growth and development; Providing a supportive private sector environment for entrepreneurial development and for domestic businesses and Foreign Direct Investment to thrive; and deepen structural reforms to make the machinery of government work more efficiently and effectively to support socio-economic transformation.
He said AfCFTA is expected to play a significant role in Ghana’s post-pandemic economic recovery, and that some programmes have been prioritised in the National Action Plan to support its implementation.
Following the merging of African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), of which ECOWAS is one, into a single duty-free and quota-free AfCFTA, vast market opportunities have been created for trade, investment, employment creation and other economic activities.
The 2021 edition of the Deloitte Ghana Economic Dialogue focused on Ghana’s preparations towards becoming an important trading centre for AfCFTA, which is headquartered in Accra.
A panel of industry experts included John Awuah (Ghana Association of Bankers), Abena Osei Asare (a Former Deputy Minister, Finance), Yaw Appiah Lartey (Financial Advisory Leader, Deloitte Ghana), Prof. Godfred Bopkin (University of Ghana), and Seth Twum Akwaboah (CEO, AGI).