The Food and Beverage Association of Ghana (FABAG) has expressed willingness to support any presidential candidate who will address its concerns and challenges.

FABAG’s chairman, John Awuni, in a statement on Monday, February 12, lamented that the “private sector has been buffeted by an array of different taxes, with overall tax levels constantly rising” and that his association is ready “to hear the position of the flagbearers of the various political parties on the taxes and policies” that they have that will benefit his members and improve their businesses.

The statement said the many taxes imposed on imports have led to businesses exploring or exporting through other West African countries.

“Currently, the private sector is disillusioned, with most players exploring investment options in neighbouring countries such as Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. Most businesses are seeing their working capital disappearing by the day.”

It added that members of the association are encouraged to vote in the upcoming elections based on the taxes and policies each presidential aspirant will bring on board.

“Indeed, members of our association as well as our employees will be encouraged to vote based on how the various political parties commit to address the key concerns of the private sector. The sector is the engine of growth but currently, the engine is grinding to halt. Business-friendly government policies which constitute fuel and lubricants of a healthy engine have gradually been replaced with business-killer policies. We would like to know how this engine will be re-ignited when a new administration takes power. How the sector will be revitalized needs to be clearly articulated and documented in manifestoes. Questions that beg the attention of those seeking the mandate of Ghanaians to govern are as follows: What will be the specific tax policies for imports, manufacturing and the Service sector? How will they make the private sector genuinely profitable if given the mandate? At the moment, most players, including members of our apex association in the private sector feel unwelcomed by the government and viewed as though they are criminals for demanding a break from over-taxation. The attacks, mudslinging and harassment are dispiriting. We don’t feel the backing and support of the State.”