Private sector growth prospects
TAKING into account the various factors that are holding back expected growth in the private sector, the World Bank (WB) has found political instability to be a major impediment. Although access to finance emerged as the number one problem, the unhealthy environment that political rivalry between the two major political parties has ushered in over the last seven years has everyone worried. While infrastructure woes like lack of availability of electricity can be mitigated through well planned interventions, the general animosity between the ruling party and the opposition needs to be worked off to propel growth in the country. The study, a joint collaboration between WB and IFC, took into account the opinions of more than a thousand respondents over a five month period in 2013.
In the midst of the bribery, infrastructure inadequacies and political tensions, the study also found that the country had scored very high in manufacturing. That the manufacturing base was performing better than many leading nations with capacity utilisation as high as 84 per cent as opposed to the average 79 per cent for 122 countries covered in the survey is welcome news indeed. Again in the export sector, our companies are outstripping the competition in the region with similar income levels.
One can only imagine how much better the economy could fare if we could address some of the bottlenecks highlighted. Bringing about changes in the regulatory framework or solving infrastructural problems takes time, but surely we can do something about bringing down tensions in the political arena.