Minister of Finance seeks industry support to eliminate imports

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Economics Minister Agi
Economics Minister Agi

Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has pledged to work with local industries to help execute the government plans of reducing the importation of some commodities that could easily be produced in the country.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Ofori-Atta said the time had come to reach a common consensus on how to position the local industries to change the country’s fortunes.

“So the ministry will do our part and work with all the relevant authorities, especially with you concerning the issue of eliminating these imports of products that we can produce right here in Ghana.”

The Government is looking to reduce the import of items such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramics by encouraging local production.

“This is at the moment an urgent priority, and the government is prepared to support our local industry players of this effort. Only when we achieve this feat, can we guarantee a stable currency and secure high level of predictability for citizens and the business community,” he said.

He said while situations were difficult, it was also clearly the time to accelerate and establish the foundations to enable the country’s industries to be the backbone of resilience and structural transformation.

“However, complex decisions we have to make the country will never forgive us if we do not use this challenging period to advance reform and unleash our local productive capabilities,” he said.

“So yes, it is bad, but let’s not waste this crisis. And maybe it is the only force now to move the machinery of government and civil service to get to where we have to get to,” Mr Ofori-Atta added.

On his part, President of the AGI, Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke pledged members’ support to tackle the economic challenges facing Ghanaians.

“The economic challenges confronting us today call for broader and inclusive consultations to complement government’s efforts towards finding workable solutions to the myriad of challenges,” he said.

“To this end, we seek to avail ourselves, engage with you, Honourable Minister on policy alternatives and policy frameworks towards the agenda of industrialization, as stated by the President in his recent speech,” he said.

He called for zero rated duties on raw materials for industry and the need to deal with the cascading effects of the VAT structure.

“We appreciate your work, the times can be different, the challenges can be numerous but we in AGI believe in hard work. The real sector has been the hard work and we have been in this space for that long, we will circumvent the situation with you and your team.

“You can count on our support because we love to do the hard work. We will offer advise and offer suggestions and alternatives.

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