Wednesday, 6 November 2013
World Bank still rates Ghana as top West African country
World Bank still rates Ghana as top West African country for “doing business”, as Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur confirms that GDP growth should still exceed 7% this year. There has been no follow on after recent rumours that Minister of Finance Seth Terkper is set to be replaced by President Mahama because of his performance at the helm of the economy and the monetary policy-focused Bank of Ghana has escaped the opprobrium for the deteriorating fiscal position.
Ghana's Vice President and former Bank of Ghana governor, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has confirmed that Ghana's economic growth will still exceed 7% this year as Finance Ministry officials have recently indicated. According to Amissah-Arthur, GDP growth should reach 7.2% for 2013 even if over 0.5% lower than the predicted 7.9% - with this shortfall unfortunately one of the reasons that the deficit will be reduced more slowly than expected. The 7.2% figure is slightly less than the 7.5% figure presented by Terkper late last month when complaining about the Fitch ratings agency's decision to downgrade.
At least the World Bank is more optimistic, on a relative basis compared to Fitch, on the business environment. In its latest “Doing Business” report for 2014 it confirmed Ghana as the highest ranking West African or ECOWAS country. This is despite Ghana's global ranking fell slightly to 67th out of 189 countries because of increasing the administrative requirements on those starting businesses.
Ghana was, however, not on the World Bank list of countries that had most improving their business regulations since 2009 which was when John Kufuor handed over the presidency to John Atta Mills. One may interpret this in more than one way including that Ghana has provided a relatively business-friendly environment over a longer period of time. Indeed, Ghana is one of the twenty most improved countries since 2005 - with twelve significant regulatory reforms – and was highlighted as having made major strides in improving domestic access to credit over the past five years.
For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.
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