The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Clement Osei-Amoako, has called on the Central Bank to establish stimulus packages for companies that will be trading under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to him, the bank must apply a different interest rate for indigenous industries. This, he believes, will enable them produce for the market and remain competitive in the free trade.
“It has to do with a lot of countries on the continent to be part of it. So, we have to get a perfect knowledge of the market as to what is going on in other countries. We want to know where we have our strengths to produce… because we are talking about cost of funds.
“… it is key. Apart from coming out with the standard that other countries seek to ask us to supply them in specific [standard], we still have to be competitive. A situation where you have the francophone countries supporting their members [with] some funding in the form of stimulus package makes us worse off at a go”.Frederick Adu Amoako
Cost of funding for businesses
Mr. Amoako further underscored the need for the government to liaise with the banks to achieve a reduced interest rate.
The GNCCI boss reckons that, the relevance of businesses in the country cannot be overemphasized. As such, investments from banks in these businesses will be mutually beneficial.
“That is why we are asking that if the cost of funding is not good enough, we’ll not be able to be very competitive. So, the government should look at the form of giving us some stimulus package. More so, the government can also come together with the banks to come out with a way of getting some support in the form of lower interest rate for those who are availing themselves into the market. As business entities, when we are doing well, it’s the banks that benefits a lot. If our businesses are not doing well, their existence will not be necessary. So, if they invest in us, it’s a way of trying to tell us that they are protecting their business into the future.
“I think that, that is key for us to look at it. So, we want to remain more competitive and we want the government to come to our aid so that the cost of fund will be quite good for us to be very competitive”.Frederick Adu Amoako
Ministry of Trade establishes special financing windows to support businesses
The Ministry of Trade and Industry earlier this year expressed its intention to establish Special Financing Windows. The move is to cater for products of strategic sectors to harness the benefits of AfCFTA. The Ministry further revealed that, it will collaborate with other financial institutions.
According to the Ministry, this will ensure that Ghanaian businesses benefit from the roll out of the proposed Pan-African Payment and Settlement System.
Also, the system provided by Afrexim Bank and the Africa Trade Insurance will provide export credit, insurance and guarantees for businesses in Africa.