Chamber of Commerce committed to driving exports
• Justice Stephen Oppong (left), Justice of the Court of Appeal, swearing in members of the National Council of GNCCI

Chamber of Commerce committed to driving exports

The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has started engagements with its international counterparts to build partnerships in the country to drive exports.

As a result, the chamber has had several engagements with the Pakistani government through its embassy in Ghana on ways to help the country to scale up its rice production.


He said that was part of measures to support efforts of the government to steer the economy out of its current crisis.

Addressing the media after the inauguration of the GNCCI National Council in Accra on February 14, the President of the association, Clement Osei-Amoako, said the chamber had made it clear to its counterparts that it preferred to have foreign companies produce in Ghana and then export to other parts of Africa.

The newly inaugurated national council chaired by the President of the chamber is to steer the affairs of the GNCCI for a year, promote the interests of its members and advocate a conducive business environment.

It is made up of accomplished and experienced business leaders.

Business environment

Mr Osei-Amoako said the Ghanaian business environment was currently bedevilled with high inflation hovering around 54 per cent and a rapid depreciation of the cedi that had eroded business capital.

He said the persistent increase in the policy rate had resulted in a high lending rate averaging 40 per cent and also affecting loan repayments as banks had upwardly reviewed their contractual loan pricing.

According to him, the recent upward adjustment in utility tariffs (29.96 per cent for electricity and 8.3 per cent for water) was expected to have dire consequences on already struggling businesses by making them vulnerable, eroding their competitiveness, and leading to massive layoffs and potential shutdowns.

The GNCCI had petitioned the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy for its intervention in the rising cost of utility tariffs.

Debt swap

The President noted that the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) had affected business and investor confidence.

He said per the debt sustainability analysis, the country was exposed to rising and unsustainable debt levels and this called for prompt responsive policy adjustments.

Consequently, he said the government had a role to play as an enabler and facilitator in creating a conducive business environment for the private sector to thrive.

“While acknowledging the government’s efforts at economic diversification and exports, the structural and cyclical economic challenges are impeding progress in unleashing the full potential of the private sector to industrialise and create jobs.

“With the rising number of job losses and high unemployment in light of the government’s employment freeze as announced in the 2023 national budget, the only hope for the youth is to empower the private sector to expand and create more job opportunities,” he said.

Restoring stability

According to him, the government must implement responsive and coherent policy adjustments to address the current economic challenges as any further delay will not bode well for the economy.

He stated that given the exigency of the debt swap programme to restore macroeconomic stability and protect the most vulnerable in society, a successful implementation must take cognisance of the specific and overall impact on the Ghanaian economy, especially the private sector.

That, he said, was even more crucial in maintaining business and investor confidence, as well as building a Ghana beyond aid.

“The chamber, while encouraging its members and the entire private sector to develop innovative ways of doing business to mitigate the negative impact of the current economic malaise, will continue providing targeted business support services.

“As the representative organ of the business community in Ghana, the GNCCI will continually provide the government with the needed support in ensuring the growth and development of the private sector and the wider economy,” he added.

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