In an innovative fashion, the McDan Group of Companies on Thursday held the maiden New Year’s Business Forum which brought together leading CEOs and business leaders to deliberate on developments of the past year and the outlook for 2023.
The gathering raised and tackled some of the most complex and vexed issues affecting the economy and the business environment including the issue of inflation, monetary policy and the stability of the cedi, local value chain and productive capacity, among others.
For example, many of the participants were concerned about the lack of a sustained platform for engaging government on issues affecting the economy and environment of doing business and argued that the necessary facilitation ought to be provided by government to enable business make key inputs into business and economic policy. Using the example of cocoa production and processing, the participants were quick to point out deficiencies in Ghana’s manufacturing sector which undermines its cacity to process raw materials and enjoy dominant market along the spectrum of the value chain.
Citing the fact that the cocoa industry annually makes some $138bn with Ghana receiving just about $4bn, participating CEOs stressed the need to remove certain bottlenecks in the production or processing sector and position the country to take advantage of the inception of the AfCFTA.
Contributors linked some of the problems to instability of the cedi and how that has gravely affected business planning and projections for 2022. While the diagnosis and prescriptions relative to the problem remained varied within the context of the discussion, it was clear that the overly dollarized economy was identified as a key causative factor. Another issue deliberated on were the problem of inflation and how it impacted the fortunes of businesses particularly as regards pricing and pressures on demand.
Making his closing remarks, Dr. McKorley urged the private sector to remained engaged with government and to be assertive in demanding government responsiveness to the problems of the private sector.
The forum is intended to become a biannual event on the calendar of the business community and it is anticipated that the next one is expected to come off in June 2023.