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Jon Benjamin UK-Ghana trade dependent on adherence to IMF agreement

According to the High Commissioner, a deviation from the set macroeconomic and expenditure targets as stipulated under the agreement, would further worsen UK-Ghana bilateral trade.

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Jon Benjamin

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His Excellency, John Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana has urged government to adhere to the agreements made with the International Monetary Fund in the three-year bailout program.

According to the High Commissioner, a deviation from the set macroeconomic and expenditure targets as stipulated under the agreement, would further worsen UK-Ghana bilateral trade.

The three-year IMF programme with  $918 financial support demands that government pursues fiscal adjustments to check ballooning public spending, improve revenue generation  and structural reforms to strengthen public finances.

Addressing the gathering at a short ceremony to launch the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) at his residence in Accra, Mr Benjamin said the attraction of foreign direct investment in Ghana is heavily-dependent on how well government does under the IMF agreement.

“Indeed that progress is important for investor confidence along with other actions to tackle potential barriers to business such as the regulatory environment, licensing rules, custom procedures, land registration issues and of course the thorny issue of corruption,” he said.

Bilateral trade figures between Ghana and the UK has reduced over the last three years.

Trade in goods and services between the two countries fell from £1.3 billion in 2013 to £ 1 billion in 2014 and 2015 figures, due out soon, are projected to be worse.

READ MORE:Jon Benjamin British High Commissioner charges businesses to talk about challenges facing them

These notwithstanding, Mr Benjamin said the future looks bright, projecting that overall figures could reach a record high by 2020.

He said the launch of the UKGCC heralds a new chapter in efforts to improve trade relations between the two countries.

The chamber, which currently has a membership of 20 companies, will promote, foster, and represent UK business interests in Ghana.

Ghana's Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, who was also at the UKGCC launch said although the falling trade figures between Ghana and UK is not welcome news, a concerted effort between the two countries to improve the situation will yield results.

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