President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the business community and industries that the government will continue to put in place favourable economic policies and fiscal discipline to enhance industrial growth.
He said high public debt, fiscal deficits and interest rates, a rapidly depreciating currency and erratic power supply would not be a feature of his government.
In the next sitting of Parliament, the President said, the government would legislate a fiscal rule that would outlaw any attempt to generate fiscal deficit in excess of five per cent in each year.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance at the seventh Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Quality Awards and the 60th anniversary of the formation of the AGI in Accra last Saturday.
He also launched the AGI’s Captains of Industries Book.
The Overall Best Industrial Company of the Year and the Overall National Best Quality Company awards went to Nestle Ghana Ltd.
Unilever Ghana Ltd picked the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Company award, while Olam Ghana Ltd was adjudged the Best Company Employer of the Year.
Chief of Industry
At the event, which was on the theme: “Transforming the Ghanaian Economy through Industrialisation”, the AGI installed the President as the ‘Industryhene’ (Chief of Industry) for his sterling role in supporting and building industry in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would continue down the road of fiscal discipline that had led to a marked improvement in and strengthening of the country’s macroeconomy in the last two years.
He said the government would soon establish a Presidential Fiscal Council composed of reputable economists to monitor the performance of the fiscal management policy and advise him on the appropriate measures to be taken to ensure fiscal discipline.
He said the export of natural resources in their raw form accounted for 80 per cent of the nation’s export revenue but expressed the view that the situation must be reversed in order to deliver wealth and jobs for the people on a sustainable basis.
He said the leading economies had developed through industrialisation and value addition and that all should aim at making Ghana industrious and export-oriented, noting that it was for that reason that his government was working towards Ghana becoming export-led through industrial production.
The President said the government was committed to the implementation of policies such as One district, One factory, One region, One industrial park, stimulus packages for industries, facilitation of the establishment of automobile assembling plants, pharmaceutical and garment industries and exploitation of bauxite.
He mentioned the reduction in electricity and water tariffs for industrial, commercial and domestic users as one of the moves by the government to stimulate the revival and growth of economic and industrial activities.
He said he was excited that growth in the industrial sector grew from negative 0.5 per cent in 2016 to 17.7 per cent in 2017.
He said so far 79 projects had been implemented under the 1D1F programme, with another 35 going through credit appraisal, while under the stimulus package for industries, $237 million had been disbursed to 16 companies, with others being considered for support.
He said the automobile assemblying plants by Sino Truck, Nissan and VW would be operational in 2019, while a comprehensive automobile policy would be launched to provide a clear and consistent road map for the sector.
For his part, the President of the AGI, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, said the association was anxious to see the impact of the government’s priority areas captured in the 2019 budget statement on the nation’s industrialisation agenda.