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Ghanaian economy needs faster transformation: trade ministerThursday, June 26, 2014 > 08:34:59
The government recognized the need for a more aggressive transformation of the economy for Ghana to graduate into a fully fledged middle-income country, Trade and Industry Minister Haruna Iddrisu said here Tuesday.
He said this could only take place if the country had a well-coordinated multi-sectoral strategy in place.
The minister was addressing the launch ceremony of the 2014 World Investment Report, released by the United Nations' Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He said Ghana's economy required a well-functioning public sector to sustain the growth trend.
"As an economy that is at this stage of development, largely driven by natural resources, well-developed infrastructure, a stable macro-economy as well as a literate and skilled work force are needed to transform these endowments at a competitive cost," the minister said.
Ghana's guiding principle, the minister said, was underpinned by a growth agenda in the trade and industry sector, which the government had initiated to complement the country's poverty reduction strategy.
"We also believe that such a strategy should set us on the course to graduating our economy into one in which competitiveness is derived from efficiency and sophistication in the application of labor, finance and technology," the minister said.
First published in 1991, the World Investment Report serves as an influential source of economic intelligence for policymakers and investors worldwide. The 2014 report had the theme "Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - An Action Plan."
Whereas the West African sub-region saw its volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows slow, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Gabon maintained their volumes over the past 10 years, according to the report.
Between 2010 and 2013, FDI into Ghana increased by 58 percent, according to the Ghana Investment Promotions Center (GIPC).
Presenting the report, Philip Cobbinah, a development expert at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, urged Ghanaian authorities to be proactive in their contributions to the development of global trade and investment policies.
He said the country's waiting for these documents to be fully developed and adopted and complaining about portions that were unfavorable to its development was "too reactive."
"The extent to which FDI can benefit the country is dependent upon the preparedness of the country for FDI," Cobbinah said.
He therefore urged the government to ensure that preparations were in place for the types of FDI that flowed into the country, to maximize the gains for the country.