Ten challenges have been named as the biggest ones faced by the manufacturing sector in Ghana in the latest Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) business barometer report.
The report revealed competition from imported goods is the least challenge faced by Ghanaian businesses in the manufacturing sector.
The sector over the years has had to battle with goods from their counterparts elsewhere from around the globe but it appears this is no more a source of worry at least for the last quarter of last year.
According to the AGI business barometer report, this challenge was the least faced by the sector during that period.
Of the 10 challenges listed for the sector competition from imported goods placed tenth on the list.
Low purchasing power and lack of market placed ninth and eight respectively on the list.
The manufacturing sector’s growth has dwindled over the years.
According to figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the Manufacturing sub-sector recorded a negative growth of 4.7% for the third quarter of last year over the second quarter’s negative growth rate of 19.8%.
This was partly due to a lower production of food and beverages, refined petroleum products, and manufacture of paper and paper products.
But the country’s currency the cedi which has seen some significant level of deprecation has also contributed to the sector’s plunge.
Depreciation of the cedi was named as the sector’s 7th challenge on the AGI list.
The cedi this year alone has depreciated against the dollar by over 6 percent and the pound by close to 8 percent.
Meanwhile, increases in taxes hit the sector hard leading to high level of taxation hitting number six on the AGI’s list.
Last year, a number of tax rates were increased and new ones introduced.
Industry players in sector warned the move could cripple their business.
Poor power supply and high cost of raw materials follow on the list at number five and four.
But the biggest challenge faced by businesses in the manufacturing sector is high utility prices with close to 50 percent of businesses naming that as the most challenging.
Meanwhile, cost of credit and access to credit follow at second and third respectively on the list.
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana