The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has commended the private sector for the critical role it is playing in the economic and transformational agenda of the country, especially in the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to him, the private sector had proved to be the engine of the economy, not only in words but also in actions, through its resilience and ingenuity.
“When the COVID-19 struck and there were serious disruptions in the global supply chain, it was the private sector that quickly marshalled its forces to cushion the impact of the pandemic by producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and drugs to help contain the spread of the virus,” he added.
Mr Kyerematen made the commendation when he addressed the inaugural Presidential Business Summit, an initiative being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with the Office of the President, selected ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The summit is aimed at providing a platform for structured dialogue between the government and the private sector on critical areas of mutual interest.
It will be held annually as part of the government’s public-private dialogue (PPD) framework to help improve the business environment by developing an actionable business compact with a clear commitment between the government and the private sector.
This year’s event, which was opened by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was on the theme: “Public-private dialogue on the role of the private sector in Ghana’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery”.
Participants included ministers of state, heads of public and private sector institutions, captains of industry, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the diplomatic community.
Discussions focused on five thematic areas — Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to support production and private sector development; foreign exchange regulation and currency stability; access to finance and cost of capital and energy-pricing, availability, accessibility and reliability.
The breakout sessions also touched on agriculture and agribusiness, manufacturing, construction and mining, as well as financial services, information and communications technology, and transport and logistics.
Mr Kyerematen said considering the important role being played by the private sector, the government would support players in the sector, especially those in manufacturing, to enable the country to become the production hub in Africa.
“It is a fact that the role of the private sector in national development cannot be underestimated. It is a well-established fact in development history that the most powerful economies in the world are those that maintain a strong focus on private sector development,” he said.
According to the minister, a well-performing private sector would increase the government’s tax mobilisation effort, create jobs for the teeming youth and also propel the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
"In the same vein, since there is cost associated with incentivising the private sector, the government expects the private sector to fulfil its obligations by paying taxes as part of its contribution to national development," he said.