The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said that government has a huge responsibility in ensuring that Ghanaian businesses are able to grow and own controlling stake in the country’s US$43 billion economy.
Dr Bawumia speaking in an interview with the B&FT ahead of the opening of the Ghana Economic Forum today at Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel said government’s vision of building an economy beyond aid will largely materialise when local businesses are able to grow into huge MNCs employing millions.
According to the Vice-President, government has so far passed a number of policies that are in line to boost the fortunes of local businesses in particular and the private sector as a whole.
“When you look at the 2017 budget, for instance, a number of taxes were either reduced or abolished. We believe that it is about time we shifted the emphasis from taxation to production as that is the only way you build ownership,” he said.
The Vice-President explained that government will ensure that its policy of giving at least 70 percent of Ghanaian tax payers’ funded contracts to Ghanaian contractors is fully implemented. He said the initiative will in no doubt build on the capacity of these companies and ultimately help in enhancing the ownership of Ghanaian entities within the economy.
Dr Bawumia said he is confident that the forum, which commences today and ends tomorrow, will yield a number of policy suggestions which will go a long way to shape government’s approach to the private sector.
“We are always ready to learn and imbibe these ideas to encourage Ghanaian-ownership and to encourage more private-sector investments in our economy,” he added.
The two-day event is on the theme: “Building a Ghanaian-Owned Economy, 60 years after independence,” will bring together over 500 chief executives, investors and decision-makers to support the development of Ghanaian businesses and facilitate dialogue between the private and public sector.
The event will take a critical look at energy, agriculture, entrepreneurship and innovation, the financial management reforms, and other areas crucial to the development of the economy of Ghana.
Each session is to be preceded by an opening presentation which will take an in-depth look at the topic after which panelists will proffer solutions.
The forum’s influential focus group discussions will touch on various issues affecting different sectors of the economy. This year, the Forum is seeking to build on the important pillars of success that has been achieved over the years.
The Forum will debate on whether the Ghanaian economy and current development framework allows the citizens to fully own the economy and the development process through effective participation in the economic decision-making process and through the implementation of policies which offer incentives to Ghanaians.