The outgoing American Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gene Cretz, has predicted a rebound of the country’s economy in the coming months.
He used the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact with Ghana to reform the energy sector, the potential for more oil and the Atuabo Gas Project, coupled with the home-grown policies of the government, as indicators for his positive prediction.
Mr Cretz made the prediction in an answer to questions from the Daily Graphic at his last news conference in Accra.
“We all know what caused the problems way back in the last two to three years. But I think that the convergence of factors that are going to help turn the economy around are the MCC which is a big factor, the IMF programme and the coming on line of gas from Atuabo and the potential for more oil, and all are working together for the economy to bounce back,” he said.
Asked when new American investors would start investing in the economy, he could not immediately provide answers except to say that the signals were positive.
Mr Cretz said, “there is a potential though for them to come. There are changes in the United States of America (USA) interest rates and businesses are holding back to see whether in fact they should go put their money in the US or focus on emerging markets.”
“But given the infrastructure needs of the country and the coming online of the oil and gas, the MCC compact which is now coming on line and the setting up of the structures that will let out the contracts to deal with the different parts of the compact, US businesses will find their way to Ghana in the coming year. I can’t be specific but a number of companies that have contacted me to ask whether they come or not are making up their mind because they have a positive response.”
Mr Cretz said the government had demonstrated a lot of commitment towards dealing with the myriad of challenges confronting the economy.
“There is a commitment on the part of the government. I met with the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, and I got a clear sense of his commitment and a clear sense of the reforms being undertaken, first for the home-grown programme and the one with respect to the IMF,” he added.
He said he was optimistic about the rebound in the prices of gold and cocoa on the international market and noted that once Ghana was a big producer of those commodities, the signs were positive in that regard.
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