Launch of the IEA2017 Business Confidence Survey Report


Launch of the IEA2017 Business Confidence Survey Report

Last Wednesday, the Business Confidence Survey Report was presented at the Institute of Economic Affairs. For the report, 200 companies from the Agric, Industries and and Services sector out of 4 different regions (GAR, Ashanti, Eastern and Western region) were surveyd. The heads of those companies were interviewed about their business confidence of the past 6 months of 2017 (2nd half)  compared to the first half of 2017.  From the 200 companies, about 50% was from Services, 35% Industrial and 15% from Agric.  Majority of companies hail from Greater Accra Region (60%).

Although companies had even higher expectations than actual results, the results from the survey show that most companies performed better in the 2nd half of 2017 due to an improved business climate (compared to the 1st half of 2017). The reason for this is an increasing number of orders for products and/or services . Most companies expect increased profits in 2018 but this will not translate into new or extra jobs. Constraints remain the high utility prices and high costs of raw materials.

Mr Eric Osei Assibey, senior Adjunct Fellow of the IEA recommended the following:

1. Less imports, increase local production of raw materials

2. Enforce ECOWAS=> zero tariffs

3. Reduce high lending rates; deal with nonperforming loans

4. Government should spend more on infrastructure to create an enabling business climate

5. Remove high taxes

In the discussion which followed, headed by the CEO of the Private Enterprise Federation, Mr Nana Osei Bonsu, a number of remarks was made by the audience such as the need for the government not only to invest in infrastructure but also to cut down on the red tape when establishing a company or doing business in Ghana in order to increase the number of new startups and investments from abroad or from within Ghana. Also the government should actively tackle the excessive influx of smuggled and counterfeit products to protect local industry and increase their tax income. Finally Parastatals as well as the Government itself should be an example in paying its bills on time in order to fight against non-performing loans etc. Top down approach, a good example tends to be followed!

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