Trade Ministry plans National Forum on high interest rate

participants 2The Ministry of Trade and Industry is to organise a national forum to discuss the high interest rate in the country.

Interest rate in the country stands above 20 per cent, meaning the private sector has to pay more than twenty per cent more on any money they borrow from the bank or any financial institution.

Scheduled for April 30 in Accra, the forum which is expected to be attended by representatives of the Bank of Ghana, financial institutions, the private sector and development partners, is to come out with measures to reduce the high interest rate, which is impacting negatively on the private sector.

Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry disclosed this at a forum for Development Partners (DP) in Accra yesterday, to solicit their support to implement the Private Sector Development Strategy II, which is aimed at building a thriving and vibrant private sector.

The forum was attended was attended by the representatives of World Bank (WB), European Union (EU), Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), United Nations International Development Organisation (UNIDO), and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Dr. Spio-Garbrah expressed worry about the high interest charged by banks and other financial institutions, especially the micro-finance institutions.

He said, he could not fathom why some micro finance institutions charged between five and ten per cent interest rate per month on loans advanced to customers.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah said the private sector could not compete with their counterparts in the developed economies who borrowed at an interest rate below two per cent.

He said the forum would discuss measures of assessing cheap capital from development partners and other developed economies to support the private sector in Ghana.

Dr. Sio-Garbrah entreated banks in developed economies to tap on the banking opportunities in the country and directly lend money to the private sector operators in the country.

By Kingsley Asare

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