Veep meets PEF, AGI officials to discuss way forward for private sector

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Thursday met delegations from the Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to  explore areas where the government could support the private sector for accelerated national development.

The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was also intended to discuss ways to remove the major bottlenecks that had impeded the development of the private sector, such as the cost of doing business in the country, power and water supply shortfalls and bureaucracies.

In a remark before the meeting went into the closed-door session, Mr Amissah-Arthur underscored the government’s commitment to expand the infrastructure base for the economy to grow.

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He challenged the private sector to play a lead role towards the expansion of the economy.

“The private sector should take the challenge because in the next few years the government may not invest much, so the private sector must be available,” he said.

The President of the AGI, Nana Owusu Afari, expressed concern over the dumping of cheap goods on the Ghanaian market, adding, “This has a very negative effect on the economy.”

He said the situation had made many businesses to shift their production from Ghana.

Nana Owusu Afari, therefore, called for the adoption of a strategy to control “these cheap goods”.

“That is our major concern. We talk about this all the time but it seems there is no solution,” he said.

Nana Afari also advocated the need for all businesses to belong to an association as a way of checking the practice of “dumping everything on us”.

He said although the private sector was said to be the engine of growth, there was no oil to grease the engine.

The President of the PEF,  Mr Asare Akuffo, considered the meeting with the Vice-President a means of deepening relations with the government in the quest to develop the economy.

“We want to have permanent solutions to the bureaucratic bottlenecks, so that businesses — small, medium and large — will grow,” he said.

He said in growth there must be development, stability and the creation of employment.

Story by Timothy Gobah