AGI calls for decisive action to boost business confidence

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says government must take immediate action to confront the current economic crisis to avert further deterioration of the present situation.

It said clear indications are that the economy outlook and business confidence would worsen if steps are not taken immediately to stabilise micro-economic conditions.

Mr James Asare-Adjei, President of the AGI, said this when members presented a Communiqué on the current economic situation.

He said the AGI Barometer for the second quarter, 2014 recorded the worst ever business confidence index of 22.42 down from 90.13 in the first quarter.

The AGI Barometer captures business sentiments across various sectors of the Ghanaian economy on a quarterly basis.

He said businesses continue to incur huge foreign exchange losses while industry is shrinking with the rising cost of doing, adding businesses risk shutting down if the trend persists.

“The present economic conditions are not conducive enough to foreign (local and foreign) investments which could generate the much needed employment. AGI believes the restoration of macro-economic stability is central to Ghana’s economic recovery,” he said.

On the government proposal to hold discussions with the IMF, Mr Asare-Adjei said in view of government’s apparent inability to ensure fiscal discipline, AGI was of the opinion that the decision to engage with the IMF is the only option left.

He called for active involvement of industry in the IMF engagement processes to ensure maximum benefit for the entire country, adding the AGI is ready to support.

“AGI hopes that the engagement with the IMF would be managed to ensure that the country obtains value for money in all economic transactions. Further increases in the tax burden on the formal private sector risks killing the hen that lays the golden eggs,” he said.

AGI requests Bank of Ghana to scrap the foreign exchange measures which were announced in February because they had not succeeded in stopping the currency depreciation.

“This is the time to reassure the whole country that foreign exchange paid into our banks are welcome and would be secured,” Mr Asare-Adjei said.

On the Senchi consensus, Mr Asare-Adjei said AGI was aware of the commencement of the work of the implementation advisory group of the National Economic Forum report and would like to see an action plan with specific timelines defined to make monitoring possible.

AGI reiterates its intention to monitor the implementation, he said. GNA

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