Industry captains positive about business conditions in 2020

Morkporkpor Anku, GNA

Accra, Dec. 12, GNA
– Industry captains interviewed for the Third Oxford Business Group (OBG) Chief
Executive Officers report expect local business conditions to be positive in
the coming year.

They were also
upbeat about the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which would be
headquartered in Ghana, and the benefits it could bring to the region.

About 100 CEOs’ from
across Ghana’s industries were asked a wide-range of questions on a
face-to-face basis aimed at gauging the business sentiment.

The findings
indicate that most CEOs in Ghana are broadly positive about the country’s

Seventy-one per cent
of respondents described their expectations of local business conditions as
positive or very positive for the coming year; while 68 per cent viewed the
level of transparency for conducting business in the country relative to the
West African region as high or very high.

The Ghana Investment
Promotion Centre, (GIPC) in collaboration with Oxford Business Group (OBG) and
Impact Investing Ghana, on Thursday, launched the report of the survey at the
Fourth Quarter CEOs’ Breakfast Meeting, in Accra.

The survey, which
was conducted on a face-to-face basis across the full range of industries,
company sizes and functional specialties, was designed to assess business
sentiments amongst business leaders (Chief Executives or equivalent) and their
outlook for the next 12 months.

Mr Rig Moore, the
Editorial Manager, OBG, who launched the report, said 73 per cent of the
interviewees expected the AfCFTA to have a positive impact on intra-regional
trade levels.

OBG is a global
research and advisory company with a presence in more than 30 countries, from
Africa, the Middle East and Asia to the Americas.

“Reactions to the banking
reform agenda were mixed with almost 44 per cent of the survey participants
describing local sentiment surrounding the reform agenda as positive or very
positive; while 43 per cent described it as negative or very negative,” he

He said the banking
sector reforms formed a key part of the government’s efforts to restore
macroeconomic stability in recent years.

The survey results
could be explained by the fact that while most people agreed the reform agenda
was a much-needed measure to reap longer-term benefits; many remained were
preoccupied by its short-term implications, particularly on liquidity and
credit availability.

The survey
highlighted business leaders’ concerns over the destabilising impact on the
economy of commodity price fluctuations.

Again, 43 per cent
of those interviewed chose volatility in commodity prices as the top external
event they felt could impact the economy in the short to medium term, well
ahead of instability in neighbouring countries selected by 13 per cent.

Weak infrastructure and transport networks
were selected by 11 per cent.

The report was based
on data from private, international, regional and local companies and the data
generated allowed for analysis of sentiment within an individual country, as
well as regionally and globally.

Mr Moore said the
survey was conducted under the Chatham House Rules to encourage frank
discussion and engagement between parties present.

Mr Carl Nelson,
Chief Operating Officer, GIPC, said the Centre’s CEOs Breakfast Meeting series
was a flagship vehicle for effective engagement between the government and the
private sector.   

The first edition of
the report, published in 2017, focused on the stabilisation of the economy
following a somewhat challenging period of weak oil prices and sluggish
economic growth.

He said the second
edition assessed the events of the year 2018 as Government worked towards
exiting an IMF credit deal, amidst fiscal and monetary reforms, alongside a
historic consolidation of the banking sector.

Mr Nelson said the
latest survey carefully examined how the various reforms and programmes
implemented by the Government in 2019, as well as the 2020 General Election,
had impacted the Business Community and the prospects for the next 12 months.

He said: “Since
teaming up in December 2010 for OBG’s first country report, the OBG-GIPC
partnership has produced comprehensive accounts that provide holistic and
accurate analyses of political, macroeconomic and sectoral developments.

“It has also
showcased opportunities available in Ghana to both the domestic and foreign
investor community.”