2017 3RD EDITION SWISSCHAM NEWSLETTER

Dear Members, associates and friends, we are glad to note that during this quarter, there has been commendable improvement in power supply and some stability on the foreign exchange market. Please click here to access the newsletter.

Bank of Ghana raises minimum paid-up capital for Banks

12th September 2017

 

BOG Logo1The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has raised the minimum paid-up capital for Banks to Four hundred million Ghana cedis (GH¢400,000,000) from the current One hundred and twenty million Ghana cedis (GH¢120,000,000) effective 11th September 2017.

In a notice the BOG issued to all banks and the general public on Monday, 11th September 2017, it stated that the move was "part of  a holistic financial sector reform plan to further develop, strengthen, and modernize the financial sector to support the government’s economic vision and transformational agenda".

The statement further stated that in accordance with the capital restoration plans stipulated by the Bank and Specialised Deposit Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), the BOG had agreed with identified banks on a roadmap for recapitalization.

Some of the conditions under which the recapitalization was to done were fresh capital injection, capitalization of income surplus and a combination of fresh capital injection and capitalization of income surplus.

Other conditions included prohibition of capitalization of revaluation reserves, reserves on financial instruments through other comprehensive income, statutory reserves, credit risk reserves and unaudited profit.

The statement added that the deadline for recapitalization is 31st December 2018 and non-compliance with the new minimum paid up capital requirement shall be dealt with in accordance with section 33 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).

The statement concluded that "Looking ahead, banks would require a more sophisticated and robust capital framework, adequate to transform the banking sector and consistent with the growing risks, levels of sophistication and exposure banks are currently facing".

 

Source: Bank of Ghana 

https://www.bog.gov.gh/privatecontent/Public_Notices/Notice%20on%20New%20Minimum%20Paid%20Up%20Capital.pdf

 Picture credit: https://www.bog.gov.gh/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghana to generate US$10 billion from Non-Traditional Exports

7th September 2017

Logo GEPA.fwGhana is set to generate US$10 billion from Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in the next four years, Madam Gifty Klenam, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), disclosed on Wednesday, 6th September 2017.

To achieve the target, she said, the Authority was developing and promoting exports vigorously, by identifying additional products with significant export potentials in the various districts in the country.

The Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503) defines Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) to include all export products with the exception of cocoa beans, lumber and logs, unprocessed gold and other minerals, and electricity.

Madam Klenam said this in a speech read on her behalf, at a meeting on the implementation of the National Export Strategy, vis-à-vis the One-District-One-Exportable-Product in Sunyani, in the Brong Ahafo region.

It was organized by GEPA and attended by District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and other stakeholders in the export sector and aimed at identifying new export products in the various districts of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The National Export Strategy was launched in 2013 for implementation after extensive consultation and its key tenets advocate the identification, development, and promotion of at least one exportable product per district.

Madam Klenam indicated that the nation had all it took to be the export hub of the sub-region, and underlined the need for stakeholders in the sector to help tap export products to transform the fortunes of the country.

She said currently GEPA was undergoing certain structural and fundamental realignment to be able to handle new responsibilities adding that very soon regional offices would be established for the full implementation of the one-district-one-export-product.

“This programme would compliment as well as feed the implementation of the government’s overarching policy initiative of the One-District-One-Factory industrialization concept”, she explained.

Madam Klenam observed that the Brong-Ahafo region was vast and endowed with immense potentials for agribusiness, services and related export value chains.

“The region has been touted as the food basket of the country and the onus lay on us to translate this positive accolade into meaningful exports”, she told the participants.

 

Source: GNA | Dennis Peprah

http://www.ghananewsagency.org/economics/ghana-to-generate-us-10-billion-from-non-traditional-exports-121991

 

Picture Credit: http://gepaghana.org/

Paperless ports transactions take-off successfully

4th September 2017

Tema Port Aerial view.fwThe paperless ports reforms took-off successfully from September 1, 2017, aimed at reducing the cost of doing business, enhance transparency and improve the country’s trade competitiveness.

The roll-out of the paperless ports followed Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s Directive during a Port Efficiency Conference organised in May 2017.

Dr Bawumia’s three-points Directive include; the removal of all customs barriers on the country’s transit corridor, a joint inspection by all regulatory agencies and a hundred percent paperless transactions at the ports from September 1, 2017.

He followed up with an official unveiling of a road map of the paperless process to guide the operators and agencies in the port clearance chain.

Ahead of the implementation of the Directive, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the Ghana Community Network, the West Blue Consulting, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Shippers Authority, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and a host of other stakeholder institutions embarked on several engagements with importers and freight forwarders, to educate them on the changes that would occur on their systems.

On Friday, September 1, 2017, although the ports delivery unit, which required clearance transactions did not function because it was a statutory holiday, the ship side was functional.

According to the ports authorities, two persons made requests online, which the GPHA’s operational team were able to respond appropriately.

“We received two requests for services from the GICCS platform, one being a reefer container and the other a dry container. When the request was received we were able to generate an invoice and sent it back to the GICCS platform for the agent to have access,” Madam Josephine Gyima-Akwafo, the Corporate Planning and Monitoring Manager of the GPHA, said.

She, however, said on Saturday, September 2, 2017 the Revenue Centre was a bit slow, but pockets of clearing agents came to the Centre to make enquiries on how to make their requests online.

Madam Esther Gyebi-Donkor, the General Manager in charge of Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA, said the ports authorities provided a Customer Service Centre to assist agents to use the online systems without any difficulties.

“We were able to put our customer service in place. We ensured that all the people who came to the Revenue Centre to process the old forms were given detailed exposure on how they have to start making their requests in the system from Monday.

“The number of people who came around to do clearance had started the process already with the old system so we let them to go through a transition period in order to clear those ones through the old system,” she said.

Mr Paul Asare Ansah, the Director-General of the GPHA, Mr Edward Osei, the Director of Tema Port and the General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Marketing at GPHA, toured the various centres to ascertain the number of requests made by agents including the Golden Jubilee Terminal.

The port authorities expressed the belief that the successful take-off of the paperless operations would continue in the days to come and any challenges that may be encountered would be worked out gradually to perfect the system.

The West Blue Consulting Limited and the Ghana Community Network Services are mainly the Information Technology (IT) systems reliability and sustenance providers for the paperless processes and both expressed satisfaction with the successful roll-out of the transactions.

They said traders, who hitherto complained about delays, would benefit greatly.

The paperless ports reforms would ensure that transactions such as customs release, port requests for delivery, terminal payments, waybill, loading and exiting were done within four hours.

Source: GNA | Godwill Arthur-Mensah

http://www.ghananewsagency.org/economics/paperless-ports-transactions-take-off-successfully-from-september-1-121877?utm_source=gna&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=sitesearch&utm_term=keywords&utm_content=

Picture credit: http://ghanaports.gov.gh/default

885 SMEs lost GHS250m to ‘dumsor’

24th August 2017

A study on the impact of the four-year power crisis that hit Ghana has established that 885 small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi lost GH¢250 million within the period.

Additionally, the power outages, to a large extent, led to a 10 per cent fall in monthly productivity of those firms, with as many as 55 of such businesses folding up in the four locations of the country.

Findings

Presenting the results of the study at a workshop at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Wednesday, 23rd August 2017, a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the university, Dr Charles Ackah, said one extra day of outages each month resulted in about one per cent reduction in labour productivity.

The theme of the workshop was, “Counting the Cost: the Impact of Power Crisis on Manufacturing Sector Productivity.”

The survey, commissioned by the International Growth Centre (IGC), was conducted by ISSER.

Dr Ackah stated that the energy crisis had significant negative effects on labour and total factor productivity in the manufacturing sector.

He indicated that though output fell following the outages, there was no significant impact of the crisis on the number of workers in those firms, but added that the crisis led to a reduction in raw materials and some level of reduction in the firms’ stock of machinery.

“The findings suggest that while firms may flexibly alter inputs such as machinery and raw materials in response to electricity outages, some inputs such as labour tend to be less flexible, potentially owing to rigidities in the labour market,” he explained.

Firms surveyed

Dr Ackah pointed out in particular that the reduction in labour productivity might have stemmed from the reduction in the amount of capital available to workers.

According to the researcher, out of the 1,244 eligible firms, 885 were surveyed, with 73 declining to participate in the survey where 55 had collapsed at the time the survey was conducted between August and September 2016.

Touching on the method of research, he remarked that the survey collected information on the characteristics of the firms, their level of production, employment, capital, investment, raw materials, electricity consumption, and generation as well as financing.

Coping strategies

A lecturer at the Finance Department of the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Patrick Asuming, a co-researcher, said the objective of the study was to understand how the affected firms managed to cope and the strategies they adopted to stay in business.

He submitted that while the most common strategy adopted by majority of the firms was to operate fewer hours, many others depended on generators, with some also changing their working hours to operate when power was available.

Dr Asuming posited that overall, firms appeared to cope with the electricity outages by producing their own electricity through generators, reducing the amount of time they operated and reducing their reliance on electricity by changing their production processes and dropping products.

“We find that none of the coping strategies were effective in reducing the negative impact of outages on output. Indeed, we find that total factor productivity fell for firms that used generators as a coping strategy,” he posited.

Recommendations

The researchers recommended that additional investment be made in power generation and distribution of power to guarantee reliability.

The Director of Technical Regulations and Renewable Energy at the Energy Commission, Dr Nii Darko Asante, said the coping strategies adopted by the firms were not effective in preserving their productivity.

He, however, observed that many firms were currently using generators by choice due to high electricity tariffs.

 

Source: Classfmonline | http://m.classfmonline.com/1.11253375 

Picture credit: Classfmonline

ABB & VRA sign MOU on Technical Training Cooperation

31st July 2017

A member of the Swiss-Ghanaian Chamber of Commerce; ABB Power and Automation - Ghana  has signed a Memorandum of Undertstanding (MOU) on technical training cooperation with the Volta River Authority (VRA). The signing ceremony took place at the Electro Volta hall of the VRA in Accra on 31st July 2017. ABB was represented by its Managing Director; Mr Hesham Tehemer while VRA was represented by its Deputy Chief Executive (Engineering & Operations) Ing. Richard Nii Badger.

The special Guest of Honour was the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana; H.E. Markus Dutly. In attendance also was the Chairman and CEO of Swisscham Ghana; Dr. Nortey Omaboe and Mr. Samuel Incoom respectively. Other dignitaries were the Deputy Chief Executive (Services) of VRA; Mr. Richmond Evans-Appiah, CEO of GRIDCO; Mr. William Amuna etc.

Hesham and Badger sign MOU Jul17.fwCross section audience Jul17.fw

 

Hesham gives remarks Jul17.fwIng Badger delivers keynote.fw

Ambassador Dutly remarks Jul17.fwNKO remarks-Jul17.fw