A private sector development specialist at the World Bank, Mr Frederic Meunier, has urged the government to introduce more reforms in the private sector to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
“Although Ghana has moved an impressive 13 places up on the Trading Across Borders in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, an indication that the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) programme initiated by the government was already paying off, there is still room for improvement,” Mr Meunier told the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a workshop in Accra.
He cited African countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Seychelles, Zambia and Lesotho, which introduced several reforms to attract businesses compared to a single reform introduced by Ghana.
“Although Ghana is keeping up with the reforms among other 137 economies, we believe there is room for improvement in the coming years,” he said.
The study, Doing Business 2017, released last week, revealed Ghana’s position 1 at 08 out of 190 countries surveyed in the Overall Ranking of Ease of Doing Business - an improvement from 111 in the previous report.
In the sub-Saharan Africa sub-region, Ghana ranked in the top 10, coming 9th, out of the 47 countries ranked in the region. This is evidence that the Government of Ghana is pursuing active reforms to ensure the Ease of Doing Business in Ghana. The Top 10 countries in the region are Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Seychelles, Zambia and Lesotho.
In the “Trading Across Borders” Indicator, one of the 10 indicators measured, Ghana improved by 13 places, coming in at 154 from a previous ranking of 167. This indicator showed that the country recorded the most improvement in the ease of doing business reforms, compared with the other nine indicators, with the next improvement achieved by the “Resolving Insolvency” Indicator; an improvement of three places.
The “Trading Across Borders” rankings measure the time and cost (excluding tariffs) associated with three sets of procedures: documentary compliance, border compliance and domestic transport; within the overall process of exporting or importing a shipment of goods – One of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) adopted by the GNSW programme.
"Ghana made trading across borders easier by removing the mandatory pre-arrival assessment inspection at the origin for imported products," the annual report stated.
According to the report, "Ghana is among the economies that heavily invested in electronic systems to facilitate trade. In September 2015, it implemented the first phase of its national single window and ended the contract with Destination Inspection Companies for its Pre-Arrival Assessment programme.
The workshop was organised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group in partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce (GNCC).
The President of the GNCC, Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, said the finding was welcoming particularly at a time that some key economic indicators such as inflation, interest rate, exchange rate and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth have struggled to perform creditably over the years.
He noted that the chamber had been engaging key stakeholders in challenges facing the private sector and exploring possible areas of collaborations to improve the competitiveness of the business environment.