Home » AGI President Critiques Market Liberalization’s Impact on Ghana

AGI President Critiques Market Liberalization’s Impact on Ghana

Urges Policy Shift to Safeguard Local Manufacturing

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, has voiced significant concerns regarding the detrimental effects of unbridled market liberalization on Ghana’s manufacturing sector and overall economy. Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Dr. Ayim-Darke shed light on the challenges posed by the current liberal economic policies that permit extensive importation of goods without stringent regulations.

Dr. Ayim-Darke critiqued the current state of market liberalization in Ghana, stating, “We practice a liberalized market to the extent that it allows everyone to import everything and anything into the country, muddying the waters.” He highlighted the adverse consequences of this approach on Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves, which in turn affect foreign exchange rates and create confusion in policy and lending sectors.

The AGI President drew comparisons with economies like the United States and China, noting that even these developed nations do not entirely forsake regulations in favor of a free market. Contrary to practices in Ghana, these countries maintain a balance between market freedom and regulation to protect their economies and manufacturing sectors.

Dr. Ayim-Darke pointed out that the lack of adequate controls on imports in Ghana has significantly impacted the local manufacturing industry, stymying its growth and sustainability. The influx of imported goods competes directly with locally manufactured products, often at a disadvantage due to higher production costs and challenges within the local industry.

He advocated for a shift from the current liberalized economic model to a more controlled and regulated approach to imports. According to Dr. Ayim-Darke, adopting such a policy would provide the stability and support needed for the manufacturing sector to thrive, thereby benefiting Ghana’s economy as a whole.

The call for a reconsideration of economic policies comes amidst various challenges faced by the manufacturing sector, including unfavorable business climates due to current tax policies and the need for structural adjustments to address perennial economic issues such as the depreciation of the cedi. The AGI has been vocal in its push for policies that would create a more conducive environment for local industries, including advocating for zero-rated duties on imported raw materials to alleviate cost pressures.

As Ghana navigates the complexities of global economic integration, the AGI’s stance highlights the critical need for a balanced approach that safeguards local industries while fostering economic growth and development. The conversation initiated by Dr. Ayim-Darke on JoyNews’ PM Express underscores the importance of strategic policy-making in ensuring the sustainability and prosperity of Ghana’s economy in the face of global competition and market dynamics.

The Association of Ghana Industries continues to engage with stakeholders and policymakers to advocate for measures that bolster the manufacturing sector, aiming to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation in Ghana’s industrial landscape.

The dialogue surrounding market liberalization and its impact on Ghana’s manufacturing sector is a pivotal one, requiring careful consideration and collaborative efforts to formulate policies that ensure economic resilience and industrial competitiveness. As the AGI leads the charge in advocating for a balanced economic model, the future of Ghana’s industrial sector hangs in the balance, awaiting actionable insights and policy interventions.

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