GNCCI 41st Annual General Meeting Held
The 41st Annual General Meeting
The 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held on Wednesday, the 26th of July 2017 at the conference hall of Ghana Shippers Authority. The Occasion was graced by dignitaries including past and present executives and council members of the Chamber, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Ministry, Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsey, Mr. Opoku Kyei represented the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Diplomatic Corps, business men and women, chamber members and other stake holders.
Solidarity messages were given by Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, Chamber of Mines, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Employers Association (GEA). They all congratulated the Chamber on its 41st Annual General Meeting. They recognized the important role the Chamber has played over the years towards the growth of the Private Sector and encouraged continuous collaboration in advocating for better business environment.
The welcome address was given by the President of the Chamber, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I who chaired the occasion. He expressed gratitude to the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Minister of Trade, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Past Executives, Council Members, Staff and Members of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Representatives of Business Associations, Collaborating Partners, distinguished Business Men and Women, the Media for their immense support to the chamber. He also used this august occasion to clarify the official name of the Chamber: Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was done to clear the air about the confusion of the two names in circulation which were Ghana National Chamber of Commerce-(GNCC) and Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
Dr. Nana Dankawoso I also emphasized the Chamber’s utmost commitment to the growth of the private Sector since the colonial era and how the Chamber has worked with successive governments in promoting and protecting the commercial and industrial interests of the Private Sector in Ghana. He said the poor performance of the economy since 2011 due to challenges such as prolonged power supply shortages, high interest rates on loans and the constant depreciation of the Cedi has hindered the competitiveness of businesses in Ghana. He therefore commended the Government of Ghana for the continuous reduction in the monetary policy rate and Treasury bill rate on the back of declining inflation which will have a positive impact on the economy. He therefore called on the commercial banks to respond by reducing their interest rates.
He further stated two major advocacies the Chamber had undertaken. The Chamber brought the implementation of the duty drawback into fruition after it was fraught with so many challenges since its introduction in 1993. It has also begun an advocacy action to improve efficiency and also to reduce the cost of doing businesses at the ports.
The President also highlighted some of the activities of the Chamber that seek to create the right business platform and growth for its members which includes the organization, coordination and participation of business to business (B2B) meetings, trade fairs, fora etc. He made mention of the Chamber’s support of government’s initiative of the ‘One District, One Factory’ also used the opportunity to talk about the upcoming Chamber business awards which is to encourage businesses to be more competitive and give off their best.
The Senior Minister’s address was given by Mr. Opoku Kyei who represented him. He reiterated government’s support of the Chamber and the strong relationship between Government and the Chamber which dates back to the Gold Coast era. He commended the Chamber for its support to the private sector and expressed the government’s willingness and commitment to work hand in hand with the Chamber to help contribute to the growth of the Private Sector. He also made mention of the most comprehensive economic transformational agenda for industrial transformation that the Government intends to embark on which will be anchored on the following.
• Macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability
• Infrastructural Development
• Accelerated Industrial Development and
• Agricultural Transformation.
The keynote address was delivered by the Deputy Minister, Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen. He commended the Chamber for its support to the government and the private sector and assured the Chamber of the Ministry’s readiness to work with it to make the private sector competitive. In view of this, he indicated ten point interventions being carried out by the Ministry. Theses are:
1. The National Industrialization Revitalization program (stimulus package for Industries that are commercially viable but are distressed)
2. One District One Factory flagship program (This flagship program is meant to significantly enhance the Economy of each district)
3. Development of strategic Anchor Industries.
• Iron and steel
• Garment and Textiles
• Industrial Starch
• Integrated Aluminum
• Vehicle Assembly
• Machines and Machine Components
• Industrial Salt
4. Establishment of Industrial Parks in at least One Region
5. Enhancing Domestic Retail Infrastructure
6. Export Development and Diversification
7. Public-Private Sector Dialogue
8. Business Regulatory Reforms
9. Industrial sub-contracting and partnership i.e. Automobile Industry
10. SME Development
He discussed the Trade Facilitation Awards which seeks to implement paperless processing of trade and customs transactions which is in line with the Vice President‘s directive to ensure a 100% paperless transaction at the Ports by 1st September, 2017. He also spoke about the10 year extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) scheme which expired in 2015. According to him, this scheme is to strengthen and expand the bilateral trade and investment relationship between Ghana and the United States of America. It provides Ghana a duty-free access to the US market.
The second session of the programme was a business session for Council members, Chamber members, Regional Delegates and Staff of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The financial statements of the previous year 2015/2016 were discussed. It provided an opportunity for the Chamber to take stock of their achievements as well as their challenges.