Conference: Retreat on the 2012 national budget for private sector
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The recent conference in close cooperation of KAS and the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) was held with the objective to implement the individual ideas of enterprises into the 2012 budget statement. Over 50 members of trade and business associations and the private sector community attended the conference which took place the 21st July 2011 in Accra.
The private sector the engine of economic growth and job creation. Therefore it is important to establish a good proficient partnership between the government and the private sector, wherewith the private sector is borne by a stable and prolific basis therewith the development can be expanded. The members drew up proposals for solutions addressing the main challenges which the private sector is facing at the present time. In particular the working groups addressed key factors hindering economic development such as the high costs of financing, the poor infrastructure in terms of road construction and transportation as well as telecommunication, the delay of bureaucratic institutions, high taxes and import costs, the lack of access to domestic and local markets as well as the lack of proper business support and feeble R&D capacity. The conferees concluded that the government should help the entrepreneurial class by supporting small and medium enterprises at every level through micro-financing, start up financing, expansion financing and regional financing.
If nothing else these incentive measures will accelerate the progress of the migration of the informal sector to the formal sector. The core discussion themes of the agricultural actors were problems concerning production, post- haverest, market and competition, infrastructure, finance and skilled labour. The service sector entrepreneurs demanded for an institutional framework to punish tax fraud and evasion as well as for an expansion of the coverage area of telecommunication and lower taxes with the aim to provide an incentive to invest and consumer protection. “Ghana is a place that is attractive to invest and to build up business.” commended Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo the chief executive officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications. “Lower taxes will provide an incentive to invest and increase the revenue. In the long run lower taxes will enable shifts from the informal to the formal sector.” In addition to the already mentioned problems the agents of the industrial sector highlighted the high cost of production and the absence of quality standards as well as an insufficient monetary policy. At the end of the conference the delegates reached agreement on a set of conceptions for the 2012 national budgetary process.
(Isabel Rutter, intern with the KAS Ghana Country Office)
Ghana, July 21, 2011