According to Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, the government plans to encourage the private sector to import substitute select particular items in 2023.
On Thursday, November 24, 2022, the minister delivered the 2023 budget statement and economic strategy to parliament. He stated that the targeted products make up around 45% of the country’s yearly imports, which puts pressure on the cedi.
“Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, Ghana’s heavy dependence on imports places tremendous pressure on the Cedi, creating an unfavourable balance of payments position. On average, Ghana’s import bill exceeds US$10 billion annually and is accounted for by a diverse range of items that include iron, steel, aluminium, sugar, rice, fish, poultry, palm oil, cement, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, Toilet roll, toothpick, fruit juices, etc. ,” he said.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, the government would facilitate the creation of several manufacturing facilities to create such goods locally through collaborations with the private sector.
“We currently have the capacity as a country to locally produce items that account for about 45 percent of the value of our annual imports. These include rice, fish, sugar, poultry, cement, pharmaceuticals, jute bags, computers, etc. To this end, Government will target these products for import substitution by supporting the private sector, through partnerships with existing and prospective businesses to expand, rehabilitate and establish manufacturing plants targeted at producing these selected items,” stated the minister.
The 2023 budget plan is anticipated to assist in recalibrating Ghana’s economy in light of the nation’s present economic difficulties and skyrocketing debt levels.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the government of Ghana are now discussing an economic bailout.