In four years twenty big Ghanaian companies with competitive advantage would have been created through capacity building and partnership with foreign businesses, the Minister designate for Business Development, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal has said. Citing car manufacturer Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo as one of the entrepreneurs who could benefit from support to reach the international market, he said the 20 companies would be created through the support of already existing businesses and by establishing others from the start. Taking his turn at the Appointments Committee on Tuesday, Mr. Awal said his mandate was to initiate measures for the best competitive brands or value for Ghanaian businesses as well as attract businesses in very key sectors of the economy. He listed five steps he would take to build the capacity of Ghanaian businesses as; improving the regulatory framework by removing all obstacles to doing business, ensuring skills training for the private sector by matching local enterprises with foreign businesses and achieving effective branding by enhancing the effectiveness of the public service. Mr. Awal also said he intended to help build Ghana into an entrepreneurial nation by replicating the school incubator system of the United States in the country’s tertiary institutions and introducing a Ghana returnee programme that would resource private sector enterprises. He proposed that ultimately businesses must be assisted by the government to expand their capabilities by handholding them. Asked by the Member of Parliament for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak to provide two key policies he would initiate to make local businesses competitive, Mr. Awal said he would ensure competitive capacities and handhold businesses to make them the 20 big companies. Obstacles facing private sector Mr. Ibrahim listed some of the obstacles to private sector development as the difficulty in the registration of lands and the acquisition of permits, the lack of access to cheap financing and the unfavourable macroeconomic environment, saying that he would collaborate with the ministries of Justice and Attorney General, Finance, Local Government and Rural Development and also the private sector to remove those obstacles. “We need a single window for the registration of businesses. Businesses must be encouraged to take risks to attract finance and we have to strengthen the skills of the private sector,” he said. Speaking to the involvement of the private sector in corrupt procurement practices Mr. Ibrahim said “Let’s enforce procurement laws to ensure that there is sanity in the sector.”
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