The Managing Partner of Konfidants, Michael Kottoh, has called for concerted efforts by state agencies to ensure that import of certain products in the country are progressively reduced.
Speaking on Citinews, Mr Kottoh noted that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is currently working on increasing the share of made-in-Ghana products in supermarkets by fast-tracking certification.
Despite the input the FDA is putting into having more local products on supermarket shelf, he stated more needs to be done.
Mr Kottoh, therefore, challenged institutions such as Ghana Enterprise Agency, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Agric Development Bank to take up the mandate.
“The share of imports of these products, we want to progressively reduce them year on over a certain period of time. From a 5-year target to a 10-year target we set so we can focus. We need to zero in on certain products and see what we can do.
“….If we don’t do it, we are going to be trapped in this vicious cycle we find ourselves in,” he warned.
According to Michael Kottoh, imported products continue to fill the majority of the shelf because local suppliers are unable to wait about 30 to 90 days to be paid for their supplies.
For him, this “reflects very poorly on our financial sector.”
To address this, Michael Kottoh entreated financial institutions to aid with flexible payment options for buyers and suppliers at lower financing costs.
“A lot of these bottlenecks in supply chain financing can be dealt with. The banks sometimes don’t pay attention to these very interesting bottlenecks,” he said.
Ghana is regarded as a heavily import dependent country, hence the presence of several import products in the market.
This has led to the country’s trade deficit worsening as the volume of imported products exceeds the products exported.
In 2013, Ghana’s current-account deficit increased to 12.3 per cent of GDP from 12.1 per cent in 2012.
Government has however taken steps to rectify the challenge. In November 2021, government removed the 50% and 30% benchmark values on some 32 selected items.
Source: The Independent Ghana