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IMF support not enough – Spio-Garbrah tells EU

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has said the IMF bailout on its own is not enough to get Ghana out of its current economic challenges.

According to him, the IMF support needed to be accompanied by other assistance, including bilateral and multinational funding, as well as private equity to enable the country come out of its challenges.

Speaking in his office during a courtesy call on him by the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Mr William Hanna, Mr Spio-Garbrah urged the EU and other development partners to come up with diverse funding packages for a number of projects in Ghana.

“This is because that is what will make the difference in the economy and give the private sector the courage to come in as partners of Ghana’s economic transformation,” he said.

Mr Spio-Garbrah noted that “it is necessary for the IMF to commit to assisting Ghana to mobilise billions of additional funds from multilateral, bilateral and sovereign funds, family trusts and private equity sources.”

“We must be collectively bound to try and do this together to give additional comfort to foreign investors that Ghana is a safe place to invest,” he stressed.

For his part, Mr Hanna pledged the support of the EU and its partners towards Ghana’s economic transformation.

The EU is Ghana’s biggest trading partner. In 2012, Ghana imported goods worth US$4.5 billion from the EU while it exported goods worth US$3.8 billion, accounting for 49 per cent of Ghana’s total exports in 2012.

According to Ghana and EU customs data, Ghana’s exports to the EU in 2013 were 35 per cent larger (US$4.6 billion) than imports from the EU (US$3.4 billion). Ghana’s exports to the EU were dominated by petroleum oil exports worth US$2.5bn, or 55 per cent of the country’s total exports to the EU.

Additionally, raw cocoa beans accounted for the next largest export of Ghana worth US$1 billion, or 21 per cent of exports.

The EU is also a significant market for many of the priority non-traditional and horticultural exports identified in Ghana’s National Export Strategy 2013-2017, including processed cocoa (cocoa paste, butter and powder)-US$432m; fish and seafood-US$146m; pineapples-US$46m; banana-US$52m; yam-US$20m; mango-US$12m; cashew nuts-US$10m; fruit juice-US$9m and natural rubber-US$35m.

Source: Graphic Online

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