A former Trade and Industry Minister under the Kufuor administration, Alan Kyeremanten has bemoaned the gradual transformation of Ghana into a NATO nation – No Action Talk Only.
He stated that it is time for political and public officials work harder to achieve results needed for the development of the country’s economy.
He made this known at the second edition of the Graphic Business-Fidelity Bank Breakfast meeting on the theme: “Maximizing the value of exports to improve Ghana’s trade balance.”
Addressing the participants, Mr. Kyeremanten suggested that an export-led growth strategy should be placed at the center of Ghana’s national development agenda.
“We’ve talked about it and we see elements of it in our national development agenda but obviously, I don’t think that is what we are pursuing,” he remarked.
He attributed China’s development into a global economic power house to “exports and investments.”
Mr. Kyeremanten advised that the government and other relevant stakeholders give a clearer indication “that we are pursuing this export-led strategy.”
“We need to identify new strategic pillars of growth which will diversify the export base of our country.”
He recalled that during his tenure as Trade Minister, “we started giving thought about what we could do beyond cocoa. It is an indictment on all of us that for over 100 years, we’ve not been able to think beyond cocoa in terms of pushing our export agenda.”
The new strategic pillars of growth gave birth to the Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) under which products such as industrial starch from cassava, oil palm garments for exports and industrial salt were explored.
He clarified that the identification of the new strategies in itself will not generate the export earnings unless an additional structured programme is instituted to “give us the results that we need.”
Mr. Kyeremanten called for investments in technology, targeted infrastructure, a firm level extension support to achieve export competitiveness, improving technical standards and compliance mechanisms and the provision of an incentive framework for export development.”
Ghana’s economy is largely import dependent with little revenue being generated from exports.
Stakeholders have complained about the inability of local industries to add value to their products which are earmarked for exports.
This stifles the competitiveness of the goods on the international market.
Government’s policy on imports has been blamed for fueling the preference of Ghanaians for foreign goods over those locally manufactured.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana