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Trade chambers support govt’s economic recovery efforts
Ken Ofori-Atta — Minister of Finance

Trade chambers support govt’s economic recovery efforts

A group of bilateral trade associations representing the interest of international and local companies operating in the country has pledged their unbridled support for the government in its quest to restore macroeconomic stability.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana (AmCham Ghana), the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG), the European Chamber of Commerce in Ghana (EUROCHAM Ghana) and the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CANCHAM Ghana) have affirmed their support for the government in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it seeks a $3 billion balance of payment assistance.

In a joint statement signed by the respective executive secretaries of the individual groups, they said: “The government has our unbridled support in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and we endorse the initiatives to mobilise domestic revenue for the country’s development.” 


While acknowledging the government’s domestic revenue mobilisation efforts, the group said: “Our member companies are all in the formal sector and known large taxpayers. We are, however, deeply concerned about the perceived predatory nature and outright harassment by Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials in the conduct of audits and the resulting imposition of penalties as part of efforts to collect more taxes from companies that are already large taxpayers.” 

They said their member companies expect greater consultative opportunities in the development and rollout of tax reforms. 

The group noted that, in their opinion, a partial or full recovery from the current challenges was largely dependent on the private sector creating more jobs and; hence, paying more taxes. 

“In this regard, we urge the government to harmonise all legislation, rules and regulations to spur coherent private sector participation in the economy.  

“While our member companies fully support and encourage local content development and participation, for example, its implementation must not threaten or undermine the existing ecosystem,” the statement said. 

They said the rigidity of localisation regulations was threatening investments in the mining, energy and digital/communications sectors.

“Our members are unsettled by delays in the payment for the supply of government goods and services, as well as the seeming challenges with contract sanctity and the perceived lack of transparency and interference with government-to-business contracts. 

“Smart investment chases a business environment grounded in consistency and predictability. The pool of would-be investors is small, and they talk to one another. Word spreads fast when business conditions deteriorate, causing a ripple effect that can impede investment for years to come,” the group warned.

They further affirmed, “We stand in solidarity with the efforts to stabilise the depreciating currency, which has lost more than 50 per cent of its value against the major currencies in 2022. 

Repatriation of profits

With regard to the repatriation of profits by foreign companies operating in the country, the group asked the Bank of Ghana to open up to allow for frank discussions on the matter.

“We want the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to maintain an open and fair line of communication with investors on the issue of repatriation of profits and the availability and management of foreign exchange for businesses to import essential inputs for manufacturing. 

“Further, the BoG must also publicly communicate the modalities on its outright cessation of providing foreign exchange for some critical imports to avoid likely shortages.” 

They referred to similar events in South Africa and the measures taken, saying, “It is worth noting that South Africa had to halt the imposition of its import tariff on poultry to avert a food crisis. Poultry remains a cheap source of protein for many in the country.”

In that regard, they said they intended to collaborate more closely with local trade groups on matters of mutual concern, particularly on using more local content in manufacturing. 

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