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Civil servants must act to boost trade facilitation - Spio-Garbrah

May 9, 2016, 5:01 p.m.

Civil servants must go about their duties in a manner that will make it easier for trade facilitation and accrue to meaningful contribution to efforts of government in building a vibrant and viable domestic business environment, Trade and Industry Minister Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has said.

Speaking at the maiden edition of Entrepreneurs Breakfast Meeting Series organised by the Airport Branch of the Action Chapel International in Accra, he said the instances where people in public offices tend to be too bureaucratic with trade processes, and even demand “tokens” before executing their duties, are a huge disincentive to business.

He indicated: “People in public offices must understand that they are there to help private businesses thrive in order to support economic growth.

“In this regard, they—civil servants—must desist from holding back support, being more bureaucratic, and in some instances seeking incentives from the private business person before performing duties ascribed to them.”

Mr. Spio-Garbrah noted that government has rolled out various interventions aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and ensuring a favourable business environment that facilitates trade, and public office holders must act in support of those socio-economic innovations.

According to him, businesses operating in the country require policies, regulations, a favourable operating environment as well as funding, infrastructure and technology—what he coded as “PROFIT”—to become successful and productive to grow the economy.

In that regard, he entreated participants and entrepreneurs to patronise the business support programmes of government—notably the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and the Youth Enterprise Support (YES)—to ease the pressure on their operations.

The maiden edition of the business-focused breakfast meeting brought together participants from the business community, bankers and policymakers to gain first-hand information from the Israeli Ambassador, Ami Mehl, on some workable policies that have worked for Israel and how they could be replicated in the country.

According to the ambassador, areas that Ghanaians can tap when dealing with their Israeli counterparts are science/technology and export trade.

He said: “Science and technology must be deployed in key sectors of the economy to drive growth; Ghanaian businesses can therefore leverage Israeli technology and business know-how to be more productive”.

Mr. Mehl hinted that a business association—Ghana-Israel Chamber of Commerce—will soon be launched in the country to, among others, increase the export of Ghanaian products to Israel.

Managing Director of KRIF Ghana Ltd. and Pastor-In-Charge of the Action Chapel International, Airport Residential Area Branch, Reverend Kennedy Okosun, said the meeting, which will be held monthly, offers an opportunity for networking and business discussions that will help to develop the local business community.

He said the series is one way of offering the Ghanaian entrepreneur a platform to interact with heads of missions in the country, and identify business avenues that will increase wealth and generate opportunities for the economy’s growth.

Rev. Okosun indicated: “The Entrepreneurs Breakfast Meeting series has been introduced as a platform for policymakers, the business community and financial institutions to access workable and favourable business policies of the country’s trade partners, and brainstorm how those policies can be replicated to develop local businesses.

“It will also be a business match-making avenue that offers an opportunity for participants to forge binding partnerships which will boost the capacity and productivity of home-grown businesses to push socio-economic transformation.”

Source: B&FT

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)