Captains of Trade and Industry say strategic investment and sustained local production is the solution to Ghana’s inflationary pressures and economic challenges.
They noted that the continued importation of goods, including about 70 percent raw materials for local production was the main contributing factor to the rising exchange rate challenge and high inflation rate, and its attendant economic hardships.
Accordingly, they have asked the government to create an enabling environment for local industries to have access to capital and be in the position to increase production without pushing the high cost of production to consumers.
Dr Joseph Obeng, President, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), MrTsornamAkpeloo, Greater Accra Chairman, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), and Dr Adu OwusuSarkodie, an economist, said this during a media engagement.
MrAkpeloo noted that about 70 percent of raw materials for production were imported, which made local manufacturers incur high freight charges due to exchange rate and inflationary pressures.
He said as a country, there was the need to prioritise the domestic production of goods to halt the rising rate of inflation and spur local production.
“There is no way we can come out of this problem by not having clearly defined locally produced items to consume. The call to localise is what we are asking for to stabilise our system,” MrAkpeloo said.
Dr Sarkodie observed that Ghana was not the only country suffering from the Russia and Ukraine war, but the extent to which it depended on them had an impact on the local economy.
He said that: “Local production is the best way to keep our exchange rate intact. We should encourage local production because we cannot predict when this Russia-Ukraine war will stop.”
Dr Obeng, GUTA President, stated that capital acquisition was very high in Ghana, with inflation also impeding industry’s growth and making the purchasing power of consumers limited.
He said: “We need to look within, and identify the areas that we have comparative advantage then we produce and become a hub of manufacturers. This will make us super-rich.”
He added that: “Those who are manufacturers of floor tiles are making it big. We need to encourage a lot more people to go into this sector so that we become a hub.”
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) announced on Wednesday, May 11 that, the national year-on-year inflation rate was 23.6 percent in April 2022, which is 4.2 percentage points higher than the 19.4 percent recorded in March 2022.
The month-on-month inflation between March 2022 and April 2022 was 5.1 percent, the GSS said.