Managing Partner of Konfidants, Michael Kottoh is advocating a reduction in the cost of doing business and support for targeted businesses if Ghana is to improve its competitiveness.
Speaking at the opening of Citi FM’s Ghana Rising Conference on Thursday, he cited the high cost of credit, power as well as rent charges for office spaces as key issues confronting indigenous businesses.
He believes addressing these issues should enable indigenous companies to boost their operations and compete with other foreign brands.
Mr. Kottoh’s comment also follows a survey by Konfidants in some supermarkets in Ghana, where it emerged that eighty-two percent of products are imported.
This means that only eighteen percent of all products found on the shelves of the supermarkets are made in Ghana products.
The development has also made Ghana lag behind in terms of top-performing businesses in Ghana.
“Let’s challenge the two main political parties to see who can help drive down the cost of capital to about 7 percent. This does not refer to the prime rate but the average lending rate being brought down to that figure. The cost of energy for businesses doesn’t make sense; globally if you want to be competitive in manufacturing, you should be selling energy to industry at not less than 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Nobody should pay more than three months advance,” he argued.
He further indicated that the development has made Ghana lag behind in terms of ranking of businesses in Africa.
Ironically, the country places second in terms of destinations for investments by African investors.
On his part, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsey stressed the government’s readiness to support the growth of indigenous businesses.
The Ghana Rising Conference has assembled hundreds of participants comprising entrepreneurs, CEOs, ministers as well as members of the business community to discuss and deliberate ways to position Ghanaian businesses strategically in the local economy and beyond.
#GhanaRising is sponsored by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, SunPower Innovations, Ghana EximBank, Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, Glofert, ADB, Rigworld Solutions and Jospong Group of companies.