The move, he said, would also help build the country’s foreign exchange reserves, while helping to maintain a strong local currency against the foreign currencies.
The Finance Minister, who made the call at a breakfast meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Ghana in Accra, said “if importers will also seasonally do some exports, they will be able to generate their own dollars to help them with their imports and not rely too much on the Bank of Ghana”.
Reasons for Cedi instability
In the light of a growing fiscal debt, the country is faced with other challenges such as over dependence on imported goods which is worsening the cedi depreciation, collapsing local industries among other things.
In Ghana today, almost everything consumed is imported because many people have acquired the taste for foreign goods as against the locally produced ones.
Some of the reasons adduced for that have to do with the quality and price.
As a result, many local businesses are fading out of business because of the stiff competition they face from other import dominated companies and the situation is worsening because of the government’s inability to protect these companies.
Rating agencies such as Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service say the country’s rating of B1, negative outlook, is constrained by the ongoing weakness in the government’s fiscal position due to ongoing spending overruns on the public-sector wage bill (Single Spine Salary Structure), high interest costs and the clearance of payment arrears.
Other factors weighing on Ghana’s credit worthiness include the government’s deteriorating debt trend and the intensification of domestic financing pressures.
But Mr Terkper was of the view that the trend could change if importers found a way to research the market to export some products which would be marketable in the countries from where they import.
He stressed in doing so, they would be generating their own dollars to do their business and where necessary, pass on the excess into the system to free the pressure on the local currency.
Mr Terkper said exports would also help revive and strengthen local industries and create more employment for the people.