The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankwawoso I, has expressed worry about what he described as the increasing depreciation of the cedi, which, he said, was a major challenge confronting the progress of the business community.
He said the current rate of more than GH¢ 5 to a dollar impacted heavily on the operation of businesses in the country, particularly those that relied on the importation of resources as inputs for their operations.
He, however, expressed the hope that the President would highlight the issue in his State of the Nation address today and outline strategic policies by the government to reverse the trend and ensure a long-term stability of the local currency.
Nana Dankwawoso made the remarks in an interaction with the press by members of the association after visiting the head offices of Toyota Ghana Company Limited (TGCL) and Japan Motors Trading Company Limited (JMTCL), both automobile dealership firms, in Accra yesterday.
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The visit was to enable members of the GCCI to familiarise themselves with the operations of their colleagues at the two companies and to identify their challenges.
“Any time the cedi faces depreciation, it means that the economy is becoming very difficult and challenging. If nothing is done to control it, it will hijack and throw our budgets overboard,” Nana Dankwawoso stated.
Nana Dankwawoso further expressed concern over what he described as high cost of doing business at the country’s ports.
He said some members of the GNCCI had also complained about the high rate of taxation at the country’s ports which, they said, was affecting their businesses.
The president, therefore, appealed to the government to prioritise the concerns of importers in the country in its quest to create an enabling environment for private businesses to thrive.
Nana Dankwawoso commended the two companies for their contribution towards the growth of the automobile industry and the development of the country through the provision of job opportunities.
The Managing Director of TGCL, Mr Takuya Yao Kajiura, expressed the commitment of the company to contribute towards the accelerated development of the country through support in education, health and road safety, among other sectors, as part of its corporate social responsibility.
For his part, the Managing Director of JMTCL, Mr Salem Kalmoni, described the, “excessive importation of second-hand” vehicles into the country as unfortunate.
He said available statistics indicated that not less than 70,000 “second-hand” vehicles were imported into the country annually, most of which, he added, had outlived their usefulness.
He said that such vehicles posed a threat to the safety of its users and, therefore, urged the government to come up with a comprehensive policy to regulate such practices