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TITLE:  GHANA ECONOMIC POLICY AND TRADE PRACTICES                              
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                              
                              
                              
                              
                              GHANA

                     Key Economic Indicators
          (Millions of cedis unless otherwise indicated)


                                  1991      1992      1993 /1
Income, Production,
 and Employment

Real GDP  (1985) prices) /2         456,800   474,600     n/a
Real GDP Growth (pct.)              5.0       3.9         n/a
GDP (at current prices) /2        2,574,800 3,008,800     n/a
By Sector:
  Agriculture                     1,252,025 1,461,0O5     n/a
  Energy and Water                   51,951    63,130     n/a
  Manufacturing                     225,078   261,538     n/a
  Construction                       89,195   105,216     n/a
  Financial Services                107,392   108,227     n/a
  Other Services                    800,928   941,036     n/a
Net Exports of Goods
 and Services                         n/a     481,408     n/a


Money and Prices
(annual percentage growth)

Money Supply (M2, million cedis)    325,900   360,690     n/a
Base Interest Rate (pct.) /3       20.0      30.0      35.0
Retail Inflation (pct.)            10.3      10.1         n/a
Consumer Price Index (1985-100)   469.8     529.0         n/a
Exchange Rate (cedi/$)
  Official                        390       520       780
  Parallel                            n/a   545           n/a


Balance of Payments and Trade
 (millions of U.S. dollars)

Total Exports (FOB) /4              992.7     986.0       n/a
  Exports to U.S.                   151.6      96.4       n/a
Total Imports (CIF) /4            1,255.0   1,457.0       n/a
  Imports from U.S.                 142.0     123.8       n/a
Aid from U.S.                        38.0      43.0      63.7
Aid from Other Countries            970.0       n/a       n/a
External Public Debt              4,100.0   4,600.0       n/a
Debt Service Payments  (paid)       307.0     383.0       n/a
Gold and FOREX Reserves              35.0     362.0       n/a
Trade Balance /4                   -301.5    -47O.3       n/a
  Balance with U.S.                   9.6     -27.3       n/a



Notes:

1/  1993 Figures are based on available monthly data in November
2/  GDP at factor cost.
3/  Figures are actual, average annual interest rates, not
    changes in them.
4/  Merchandise Trade.


1.  General Policy Framework

    Ghana operates in an open market environment under a
civilian government headed by elected president Jerry John
Rawlings.  Rawlings headed a self-styled "provisional" regime
from the end of 1981 until January 1993 when democratic
government, under a written constitution, was restored.  A
popularly-elected parliament took office in January.  The
executive branch takes the lead in promulgating legislation
which requires parliamentary approval before enactment.  The
judiciary, in particular the supreme court, acts as the final
arbiter of Ghanaian laws.  As an indication of its
independence, the supreme court rendered several decisions in
1993 in favor of parties bringing suit against the government's
executive branch.

    The government has maintained the reform measures and
budgetary austerity of a structural adjustment program (SAP)
adopted in 1983 by the previous military government.  The
program has been characterized by an emphasis on development of
Ghana's private sector, which historically has been weak and
more keenly involved in buying and selling of imports rather
than domestic production of goods and services.  Ghana seeks to
privatize a large number of enterprises which currently operate
under government control or outright ownership.  Other reforms
adopted under the SAP include the elimination of exchange rate
controls on the cedi and the lifting of virtually all
restrictions on imports, as well as the liberalization of
access to foreign exchange.  The tariff structure in place is
designed to discourage importation of a limited number of
luxury items deemed non-essential to the growth needs of the
economy.  A largely dysfunctional duty drawback scheme offers
theoretical, rather than actual, encouragement for the
importation of raw materials needed in the processing of
finished goods for subsequent export.  The elimination of
virtually all local production subsidies characterizes the
overall greater reliance on market conditions for the
determination of the value of goods and services introduced
into channels of commerce.

    Ghana remains dependent on donor assistance and received
pledges amounting to $2.1 billion from the donor community for
the two-year period beginning January 1, 1994.  The World Bank
is the largest donor, offering assistance at an annual level of
approximately $300 million in the form of sectoral and
structural adjustment credits.  Ghana succeeded in eliminating
its remaining debt arrears by mid-1991 and has not rescheduled
official or commercial bank credits in the meantime.  Ghana
graduated from its IMF Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility
(ESAF) as of December 1991 and support from IMF now takes the
form of a surveillance regime monitoring developments in
Ghana's macroeconomy.


2.  Exchange Rate Policy

    Ghana has placed its exchange rate policy at the service of
efforts to achieve equilibrium in its annual balance of
payments.  Ghana has pursued a flexible exchange rate policy in
its effort to reach international reserve targets.  As imports
have shown a sharp increase over time, the Government of Ghana
-- with the  encouragement of the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund -- has been content to allow the
cedi to depreciate.

    Despite a brief intervention by the central bank to support
the cedi in the second quarter, in dollar terms the cedi lost
more than 50 percent of its value in the year to date.

    The Bank of Ghana (the central bank) retains all hard
currency earnings on the sale of cocoa and a sliding scale
percentage of earnings on gold exports.  Foreign exchange is
made available to importers through the commercial and merchant
banks as well as independently-operated foreign exchange
bureaus.  A chronic shortage of foreign exchange supplied to
banks by the Bank of Ghana has caused frequent delays for
importers settling their overseas accounts.  Foreign currency
accounts may be held in local banks with interest (except on
export earnings) exempt from Ghanaian tax.  Transfers abroad
are free from foreign exchange control restrictions.  Taken in
its entirety, the exchange rate regime in Ghana is seen to have
no particular impact on the competitiveness of U.S. exports.


3.  Structural Policies

    Ghana is a member of the GATT, but its adherence to its
GATT obligations has been compromised by the need to stem the
outflow of hard currency to overcome external payments
difficulties.  During the course of Ghana's SAP, it has
progressively wound down import quotas and surcharges.  Tariff
structures are being adjusted in harmony with the ECOWAS trade
liberalization program and U.S. companies are well-advised to
make inquiries on a case-by-case basis.

    With the elimination of import licensing in 1989, importers
now are merely required to sign a declaration that they will
comply with Ghanaian tax and other laws.  The Government of
Ghana is seen to be strongly committed to principles of free
trade, upon which support from the Bretton Woods institutions
is predicated.  However, the government is also committed to
the development of competitive domestic industries with
exporting capabilities.  The Government of Ghana is expected to
continue to support promising domestic private enterprise with
incentives and financial support.  Beyond this, Ghanaian
manufacturers clamor for stronger measures and voice
displeasure that Ghana's tariff structure places local
producers at a competitive disadvantage vis a vis imports from
countries enjoying greater production and marketing economies
of scale.  High costs of local production frequently boost the
price of locally-manufactured items above the landed cost of
goods imported from Asia and elsewhere.  Reductions in tariffs
have increased competition for local producers and
manufacturers while reducing the cost of imported raw materials.

    Under the SAP, in addition to reducing tariffs, the
Government of Ghana has afforded various forms of personal and
corporate tax relief.  Over the last two years, the government
eliminated the experimental "super sales tax" on luxury
vehicles and consumer goods and maintained lower tax rates on
annual personal income below the equivalent of $19,000.  The
top corporate tax rate for producer industries is 35 percent. 
Income earned by banks and other financial institutions is
taxed at 45 percent.  Balanced against this, the government
imposed a 60 percent surcharge (ex-pump) on all petroleum
products in 1993 and has signaled that an increase of at least
25 percent is in order for 1994.


4.  Debt Management Policies

    Total outstanding public and government-guaranteed external
debt increased during 1991 and 1992 to 4.6 billion dollars, or
58 percent of GDP.  External debt increased from 27 percent of
exports in 1991 to 30 percent of exports in 1992.  However,
interest and principal payments continued to decline in nominal
terms and Ghana's external debt indicators showed significant
improvements, reflecting a change in the composition of new
borrowing in favor of financing with generous grant elements. 
In mid-year 1991, Ghana succeeded in clearing all external debt
arrears and has maintained this position ever since.

    Based on anecdotal rather than exhaustive empirical
information, the tight spending policies that Ghana's
government has adopted in order to manage its current debt
situation have had an impact on imports from the U.S., which
were reduced from $151.6 million in 1991 to $96.4 million in
1992.


5.  Significant Barriers to U.S. Exports

    Import licenses:  Ghana eliminated the last vestiges of its
import-licensing system in 1989.  However, Ghana retains a ban
on the import of a narrow range of products including beer and
stout, cigarettes, cement pipes, roofing sheets, and asbestos.

    Services barriers:  Under the Investment Code of 1985 (as
amended), the Government of Ghana imposes barriers on foreign
participation in the following sectors: small-scale wholesale
and retail sales, taxi and car rental services with fleets of
fewer than ten vehicles, lotteries, and barber and beauty shops.

    Standards, testing, labelling, and certification:  Ghana
has promulgated its own standards for food and drugs.  The
Ghana Standards Board, the testing authority, subscribes to
accepted international practices for the testing of imports for
purity and efficacy.  Under Ghanaian law, imports must bear
markings identifying in English the type of product being
imported, the country of origin, the ingredients or components,
and the expiration date, if any.  Non-complying goods are
subject to government seizure.  The thrust of this law is to
regulate imported food and drugs; however, by its terms the law
applies to non-consumable imports as well.  Locally
manufactured goods are subject to comparable testing, labeling,
and certification requirements.

    Investment barriers:  under the investment code, the
government guarantees free transferability of dividends, loan
repayments, licensing fees and repatriation of capital;
provides guarantees against expropriation or forced sale; and
delineates dispute arbitration processes.  Foreign investors
are not subject to differential treatment on taxes, prices or 
access to foreign exchange, imports and credit.  Separate
legislation provides for investments in mining and petroleum
and applies equally to foreign and Ghanaian investors.

    Prospective investors are screened in accordance with their
capacity to contribute to any of nine goals listed in the
investment code (e.g., development and transfer of
technology).  The Ghana Investments Center (GIC) registers and
may regulate such transfers.  Official policies do not restrict
U.S. exports or direct investment although, as noted above,
some activities are closed to foreign investment.  Land
ownership is prohibited, although expatriate companies may own
fixtures constructed on leased lands.  In 1993, the government
lifted the requirement that non-Ghanaians receive prior central
bank approval before investing in public corporations listed on
the Ghana Stock Exchange.

    The Ghana Investments Center may stipulate the amount and
source of capital, nationality and number of shareholders,
project size, training required for Ghanaians, time for
implementation, utilization of local raw materials and other
criteria.  The government has exhibited flexibility and
pragmatism in establishing its requirements.

    Government procurement practices:  Government purchases of
equipment and supplies are usually handled by the Ghana Supply
Commission (the official purchasing agency), through
international bidding and, at times, through direct
negotiations.

    Former government import monopolies have been abolished. 
However, parastatal entities continue to import some
commodities, principally wheat and cooking oil.  The
parastatals no longer receive government subsidies to finance
imports.


6.  Export Subsidies Policies

    The Government of Ghana does not directly subsidize
exports.  By law, exporters are entitled to an 85 percent
drawback of duty paid on imported inputs used in the processing
of their exports.  However, there are only three known cases
where companies have taken advantage of the duty drawback
scheme since its inception in the late 1980's.

    Ghana has created an export finance company utilizing World
Bank/IDA funding to establish a capital pool dedicated to
support lending by commercial and merchant banks to
new-to-export companies.  Ghana is not a member of the GATT
Subsidies Code.


7.  Protection of U.S. Intellectual Property

    Maintaining a practice that antedates Ghanaian
independence, Ghana offers protection to patents registered in
the United Kingdom.  Following independence in 1957, Ghana
instituted separate legislation for copyright (1961) and
trademark (1965) protection.  The government is drafting its 
own patent legislation but, in the meantime, the patent laws of
the U.K. still apply.

    Ghana is a member of the English-speaking African Regional
Intellectual Property Organization and the World Intellectual
Property Organization.  It has adhered to the Bern and
Universal Copyright Conventions and the Paris Convention for
the Protection of Industrial Property.  Ghana offers protection
to intellectual property rights (IPR) holders who are citizens
of fellow signatory countries to the conventions Ghana has
ratified.  Aggrieved IPR holders have access to local courts
for redress.  There have been no more than a handful of
infringement cases filed in Ghana over the past five years.

    Patents (product and process):  Patent registration in
Ghana presents no serious problems for foreign rights holders. 
Fees for registration by local applicants are 15,000 cedis ($20
dollars) and $90 dollars for foreign applicants.

    Trademarks:  Ghana has not yet become a popular location
for mock designer apparel and watches.  In cases where
trademarks have been infringed, the price and quality disparity
would alert all but the most unsuspecting buyers.

    Copyright:  Local enforcement of foreign copyrights tends
to be lax.  The bootlegging of computer software provides a
leading example of copyright infringement taking place
locally.  There is no data available to quantify the commercial
impact of this practice.  The greatest impact on U.S. business
in terms of lost sales and revenue stems from the pirating of
videotapes.  Locally-pirated material (including feature films
shown in theaters as well as bootlegged imports) is common. 
Observers are unaware of any significant export market for
Ghanaian-pirated books, cassettes, or videotapes.


8.  Worker Rights

    a.   Right of Association

    Trade unions are governed by the Industrial Relations Act
(IRA) of 1958, as amended in 1965 and 1972.  Organized labor is
represented by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which was
established in 1958.  The IRA confers power on government to
refuse to register a trade union.  However, this right has not
been exercised by the current government or the previous
military government.  No union leaders have been detained in
recent years nor have workers' right to freely associate
otherwise been circumscribed.

    b.   Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

    The IRA provides a framework for collective bargaining and
protection against anti-union discrimination.  Civil servants
are prohibited by law from joining or organizing a trade
union.  However, in December 1992, the previous government
passed a law which allows each branch of the civil service to
establish a negotiating committee to engage in collective
bargaining for wages and benefits in the same fashion that
trade unions function in the private sector.  While the right
to strike is recognized in law and in practice, the government
has on occasion taken strong action to end strikes, especially
in cases involving vital government interests or public
tranquility.  The IRA provides a mechanism for conciliation and
then arbitration before unions can resort to job actions or
strikes.

    c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

    Ghanaian law prohibits forced labor, and it is not known to
be practiced.  The International Labor Organization (ILO)
continues to urge the government to revise various legal
provisions that permit imprisonment with an obligation to
perform labor for offenses that are not countenanced under ILO
Convention 105, ratified by Ghana in 1958.

    d.   Minimum Age of Employment of Children

    Labor legislation in Ghana sets a minimum employment age of
15 and prohibits night work and certain types of hazardous
labor for those under 18.  The violation of child labor laws is
prevalent and young children of school age can often be found
during the day performing menial tasks in the agricultural
sector or in the markets.  Observance of minimum age laws is
eroded by local custom and economic circumstances that
encourage people to become wage earners at an early age. 
Inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare are
responsible for enforcement of child labor laws.  Violators of
laws prohibiting heavy labor and night work by children are
occasionally punished.

    e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work

    A tripartite committee of representatives from government,
organized labor, and employers established a minimum wage of
460 cedis (less than $1.00) per day.  In real terms, the
minimum wage is less than in 1980.  The standard work week is
40 hours.  Occupational safety and health regulations are in
effect and sanctions are occasionally applied through the labor
department of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. 
Safety inspectors are few in number and poorly trained. 
Inspectors will take action if matters are brought to their
attention but lack the resources to seek out violations.

    f.   Rights in Sectors with U.S. Investment

    U.S. investment in Ghana is dominated by an enterprise
in the primary and fabricated metals sector.  There is also
significant U.S. investment in the petroleum, chemicals and
related products, and wholesale trade sectors.  Labor
conditions in these sectors of the economy do not differ from
the norm described above.  U.S. firms in Ghana are obliged to
adhere to Ghanaian labor laws and no instances of noncompliance
are known.


         Extent of U.S. Investment in Selected Industries

              U.S. Direct Investment Position Abroad
                on an Historical Cost Basis - 1992
                    (millions of U.S. dollars)

Category                                    Amount

Petroleum                                                 D
Total Manufacturing                                       D
    Food & Kindred Products                     2
    Chemicals and Allied Products               0
    Metals, Primary & Fabricated                D
    Machinery, except Electrical                0
    Electric & Electronic Equipment             2
    Transportation Equipment                    0
    Other Manufacturing                         0
Wholesale Trade                                           0
Banking                                                   0
Finance and Insurance                                     0
Services                                                  0
Other Industries                                          D

TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES                                    113


(D)-Suppressed to avoid disclosing data of individual companies

Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic
Analysis.

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