IMF Programme Is Yielding Benefits � Veep

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has stated that the country’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for fiscal consolidation is yielding the necessary benefits.

He said so far the IMF programme had helped the country to reduce its deficit and also created conditions for the growth of the economy.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said this when a number of chief executive officers (CEO’s) from the Standard Chartered Bank Group in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa called on him at his office at the Flagstaff House.

The chief executives were at the Flagstaff House to brief the Vice President about the Standard Chartered Bank CEO’s regional quarterly meeting as well as to celebrate 120 years of the banks exceptional history in Ghana.

The meeting is being attended by CEO’s from Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Bahrain and Kenya.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the country’s growth rate in terms of Gross Domestic Product was about four per cent and that efforts were being made to further consolidate the gains by introducing the petroleum levy.

He said the impact of the unfavourable external conditions on commodity prices, combined with the problem of electricity generation in 2012, created some difficulties for the manufacturing and service sectors.

He said the country’s inflation had also reduced from 19 per cent to 18.4 per cent and expressed the hope that the downward trend would continue in the next one year.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the Government intended to develop a secondary market for government debts in order to take the burden of financing it from the Central Bank.

Mr Sunil Kaushal, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Africa and the Middle East region, announced the intention of the bank to continue to invest significantly in Africa.

He said in spite of the very strong headwinds the bank had a resilient performance from Africa.

Mr Kaushal said as part of their meeting in Accra the bank would launch a targeted campaign to reiterate its commitment to the continent.