High investor confidence will win NDC 2nd term – Spio
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, has expressed the belief that Ghanaians will vote to keep the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in power because investor confidence in the country remains high with just a few months to the December elections.
Speaking to Class News, Mr Spio-Garbrah noted that it was unusual for investors to continue pumping money into the economy of a country preparing for elections, but the continued investment in Ghana even though the country is heading for elections in about four months, is enough evidence to show that the Mahama administration has put the country on a sound economic footing.
According to him, the active participation of the international political community in the country was evidence to show that government was on the right track and expressed confidence that it would reflect in votes for the NDC in the December polls.
In Mr Spio-Garbrah's opinion, the conditions that existed in the year 2000, which caused the NDC to lose the elections, were different from the current set of circumstances.
"There are some symptoms that observers can look at when an election is going to take place and whether the international community expects the government in power to win or to lose. So, if you look at the year 2000, I wrote an article about it. Some of the reasons why the NDC lost the 2000 election included the fact that the international community had decided not to support the NDC government and had begun to withdraw various kinds of funds and support from the government. Many loans were not getting approved, many projects were left on hold and as a result the economy became difficult and government didn't have the resources to make certain payments. And all of that, in addition to other things, contributed to the electoral loss of the NDC in 2000," he stated.
"But this year, the good news is that if you monitor the news pages regularly, you will find that delegations are arriving almost every week from France, Iran, United States, India, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia among other countries. Ambassadors are calling on me from very unusual places like Indonesia, Australia, people who don't normally call on us. If you look around the country, you will find new projects coming up every week. There are constructions of big corporate headquarters. People don't make investments in countries where they expect disaster anytime soon. They don't make investments in countries where they think government is about to change and, therefore, there may be a radical change in the terms and conditions of agreements that they are signing."
Mr Spio-Garbrah said: "Only a few months ago, the World Bank approved a credit guarantee arrangement for Ghana, which was a $7-billion project, one of the biggest projects in the oil and gas industry with Eni. Now the World Bank will not give such a guarantee in an environment of an election year and the private sector companies that are also part of that project would not have come forward if they thought their money was at risk. So, there [is much] evidence we can use to confirm. There is the $1.5-billion renovation of the Tema Harbour, that is purely private sector money, there is no loan to the government in that project and people are risking their money to improve the Tema Harbour, and the India government apparently, according to the Minister of Transport, just announced also more than $400million through the Indian Export Development Bank for the railway rehabilitation, all in an election year."
The Trade and Industry Minister noted: "In the past, people will say: 'Let's wait and see.' Before most elections, investors and lenders say: 'Let's wait and see,' but this is not what is happening on this occasion. So, the facts you are getting from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre only attest to the overall confidence that the international business community and the international political community have in this country and in this current government, and we hope that that will also reflect in the decision of the electorate come December 7."
Source: Ghana Web