By: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, has revealed that Ghana’s overly liberalised market has taken a negative toll on local manufacturing.
He is therefore calling on state authorities to put in place a balanced and regulated system, which he believes would better serve the interests of Ghana’s economy, providing stability and support for the manufacturing sector to thrive.
Speaking on an Accra-based JoyNews’ current affairs show, the PM Express, Dr. Ayim-Darke expressed reservations about the current state of market liberalisation, stating that the openness that allows anyone to import a wide range of goods into the country has adverse effects on Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves.
The President of AIG argued that the unregulated influx of imports muddies the waters and sets off a chain reaction, significantly affecting foreign exchange rates and triggering confusion in the policy and lending sectors.
“We practice a liberalised market where the extent of the liberalisation allows every Tom, Dick, and Harry to import everything and anything into the country; therefore, they muddy the waters.
And the cascading effect is that it has a significant impact on your forex, and once that happens, it triggers your policy and lending rate and brings total confusion,” he noted.
Dr. Ayim-Darke highlighted further the potential consequences of a liberalised economy, emphasising that Ghana, as a middle- or low-developing economy, should not adopt an approach where regulations are disregarded.
Drawing comparisons with more developed nations like the United States of America and China, he emphasised that even in those countries, regulations are not entirely abandoned, contradicting the current trend in Ghana.
The AGI President stressed that the prevailing situation in Ghana allows individuals to import virtually anything without adequate controls, contributing to the challenges faced by the manufacturing sector.
According to Dr. Ayim-Darke, the unbridled free market has taken a toll on local manufacturing, hindering its growth and sustainability.
Advocating for a more controlled approach to imports, Dr. Ayim-Darke called for a reconsideration of the current liberalised economic model.