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Tourism Minister calls for joint business corporation between Ghana and Iran

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The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, says there is a need to have a permanent joint business corporation between Ghana and Iran to widen and strengthen the relationship between the two countries. 

He mentioned that Ghana is a very stable and peaceful country in the West African sub-region with the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) headquarters being stationed also here. Iran can therefore use this platform to promote trade among the 1.2 billion people in Africa and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3 trillion.

The Minister made this statement when he met a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran led by Dr. Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesperson and Deputy Foreign Minister in his office.

Dr. Awal proposed the establishment of the Iran-Ghana Business Council to promote agro-businesses, aviation, tourism and trade which can result in $350 million in investment every year.

He indicated that the council should be situated in Ghana as a centre of trade between Iran and other African countries.   

Dr. Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, stated that his country is not just looking into trade, but to seek friendship, build economic and cultural partnerships which will help promote a mutual understanding between the two countries. 

According to him, there can be collaboration in other fields aside from trade between the two countries and suggested two projects on artistic and cultural relations, to begin with, and which can be used to expand the corporation between Ghana and Iran.

Dr Khatibzadeh extended an invitation to the Minister to lead a delegation from the tourism sector to attend the inauguration of the Joint Economic Commission on 27th May 2022 in Iran.

He indicated that the forum would be used to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between his outfit and the ministry.

He recommended an exchange programme dubbed ‘Cultural Week Celebration’ where various artists from Ghana can perform at a musical concert and an exhibition of food, handicrafts and other cultural artefacts would be organised.

The two Ministers discussed the need to have a friendly match between the two countries ahead of the FIFA World Cup tournament to be hosted by Qatar in November.



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MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth – CWEIC CEO

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The Chief Executive of the CommonWealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Rosie Glazebrook, has noted that Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the development of many economies in the Commonwealth.

This, in her view, underscored the CWEIC strategy to work with partners in key CommonWealth markets to foster MSME growth.

Ms. Glazebrook made these comments when she paid a courtesy call at one of the CWEIC’s key partners in Ghana, UMB (Universal Merchant Bank).

This formed part of Madam Glazier official tour of Ghana, this week. The bank structured the visit to enable Madam Glazebrook get a first-hand view of Ghanaian MSMEs, by hosting the CWEIC delegation at its “Centre for Businesses” within the Madina market enclave.

Chief Executive of UMB, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, in his remarks noted “a number of significant economic reports argue that MSMEs account for over 70% of all economic activity in Ghana. As a Bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972, and thus we share this passion for MSMEs with the CWEIC.”

MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth - CWEIC CEO

“Indeed, we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner the University of Coventry programme to build capacity for African SME’s and look forward to rolling out the programme this year, especially to MSMEs with female leadership”, he added.

Ms. Glazebrook in her remarks said, “UMB is Ghana’s oldest Merchant Bank, and I dare say the CommonWealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships. Central to our work at the CWEIC is the COMMONWEALTH ADVANTAGE- the fact that overall its 21% cheaper to do business across the CommonWealth. We are thus very passionate about bring this advantage to bear on businesses and I am excited that one of our key partners is doing this in lock-step with us here in Ghana.”

Ms Glazebrook and her party were escorted around the market by Nana Dwemoh Benneh and other officials of the bank. This was followed by a presentation by the Head of Strategy on UMB’s MSME programme and the intergation with CWEIC, Roland Akafia.

UMB is a leading indigenous bank reputed for bringing a uniquely Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972. Headquartered in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates out of 35 branches across Ghana.

The CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations. The role of CWEIC is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by Her Majesty The Queen, to drive trade and investment.



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GRA and Finance Ministry engage Information Services Department on E-Levy implementation

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More than 200 staff of the Information Services Department across the country are undergoing a special training in Kumasi to help intensify public education on the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This is part of measures by the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to address misconceptions about the E-levy and its implementation.

Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, is positive the ISD will use the various local languages to properly disseminate the right information and clear the misconception about the e-levy.

The passage and implementation of the electronic transfer levy have come with diverse concerns and misinformation.

This has compelled authorities to engage officers of the Information Services Department across the country to help with the education.

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, says it is crucial for the ISD to employ the various local languages to better address the misinformation on E-levy.

There have been concerns about logistical constraints often associated with the work of the Information Services Department.

Fatimatu Abubakar insists the Department is well equipped enough to carry out the education.

The initiative is expected to empower the Information Service Department on the e-levy mechanics.



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Government must complement monetary policy with sound fiscal measures – Economist

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has been urged to embark on comprehensive fiscal measures to complement monetary measures by the Bank of Ghana to restore economic stability and confidence.

Some financial observers have cautioned that investors will continue to shun government Treasury bills until the Finance Minister embarks on tight fiscal policy to bring down inflation, which hit 23.6 percent in April.

Speaking to Joy Business, Economist, Professor Lord Mensah, warned that investor confidence will continue to decline until inflation is stabilized.

“Government has been struggling to meet its target because the investor community has started shying away from short term investments, “Professor Mensah said adding that the uncertainties in the money market has made investors skeptical.

He stated for example that, investors are rationale business owners who always respond to activities in the market.

According to him, uncertainties create unpredictable future – a situation investors watch out for before committing their funds.

“Usually when uncertainties are so high in the system, most of the investors move their funds from the long term to the medium term. If the uncertainties continue to get deeper, they move their funds to the short term. If the investor is not comfortable at the short term then it means the economy is not doing well,” he explained.

He maintained that one of the major ways for judging confidence in an economy is to examine where and how investors are willing to invest their funds.

“With high inflation investors know that the value of their investment will be eroded. For me, the most important thing to do now is to work and bring inflation down”.



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