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Prez Mahama courts support of Stanchart to provide more opportunities for Ghanaians

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

President Mahama addressing the Stanchart delegaton during a meeting at the Flagstadd House in AccraPresident John Dramani Mahama has asked managers of Standard Chartered Bank (Stanchart) to focus on the creation of businesses that will provide more economic opportunities for the people.

He said it was important for Stanchart to link its expansion in Ghana with support for the growth of the country's economy.

President Mahama made the call yesterday when the Board of Directors of Stanchart paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra.

The members of the board of Stanchart are in the country for a board meeting.

The Group Board Chairman of Stanchart, Sir John Peace, led the delegation to the Flagstaff House.

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Other members of the delegation were the Group Chief Executive, Mr Peter Sands; the Group Chief Director, Mr V. Shankar; the Chief Executive, Africa Region, Ms Diana Layfield; the Chief Executive, Ghana, Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo, and the Area Head of Corporate Affairs for West Africa, Nii Okai Nunoo.

Also present at the meeting were the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani; the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper, and the Minister of State in charge of Financial and Allied Institutions, Mr Fiifi Kwetey.

Standard Chartered PLC is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It operates a network of more than 1,700 branches and outlets (including subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures) across more than 70 countries, with about 87,000 workers.

President Mahama said every business entity was now looking at Africa as the new frontier for business transaction, with Ghana touted as one of the emerging countries in Africa.

He said the fact that the Board of Directors of Stanchart had chosen Accra for its meeting "is an indication of the growing international interest in Ghana".

The President gave an assurance that the government would deepen the reforms of the country's business climate to attract more investment.

"We need to deepen the reforms to have a country operating at an optimum level," he said.

He said the government was already undertaking public financial management system reforms of revenue institutions.

President Mahama said the government cherished the advice and knowledge sharing that the managers of Stanchart had been offering Ghana.

For instance, he said, the managers of Stanchart had deep knowledge of emerging countries regarding their successes and challenges.

Therefore, Ghana was ready to receive advice on financial engineering to move the country to the next level.

The President said Ghana had some challenge with the increasing wage bill and indicated that the government had taken steps to put a cap on it to prevent a distortion of the economy.

He expressed the hope that the appetite for Ghana's sovereign bond would be high.

For his part, Sir John described Ghana as one of the key markets of Stanchart and indicated that the bank was ready to expand its business in the country.

Besides, it would continue to support financial projects in Ghana.

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of human resource in Ghana and attributed that to the government's investment in education.

Sir John said Africa offered tremendous trade and investment opportunities and indicated that Stanchart would expand its operations in Africa.

Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru