Ghana recorded an increase in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) during the second quarter of the year as against an initial decline in the first quarter of 2020 – in contrast to global predictions following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yoofi Grant, has said.
Global FDI was estimated to drop below US$1trillion for the first time since 2005, with developing countries tipped to be the hardest hit in the assessment of economic impacts from COVID-19, according to a UN report.
However, it had noted that the decline would depend on the severity and duration of the pandemic across different regions and countries, and the scope of containment measures governments would put in place.
But speaking as part of a panel discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, at the back of launching the ‘For Better Business Together (4BBT)’ programme, Mr. Grant said that despite the pandemic’s initial effect on investments, some remarkable progress has been made.
He said the immediate remedies pursued by the government – including quarantines, closure of borders among others – curtailed business developments. However, he said, things changed in the second quarter, irrespective of the pandemic’s impact on global business activities.
He attributed this development to transactions which were in the pipeline, as well as some “significant opportunities that also came up” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, he said, provided a chance for ‘smart investors’ who took the opportunity to make sure their companies survived while also helping to beat the pandemic.
“We’ve seen quite a bit of interest in industry or manufacturing within Ghana because there was a severe disruption to supply chains with the advent of the virus. And, therefore, many countries that were locked out of the global supply chains had to come up with their own solutions,” which brought investment to those areas in Ghana.
Also, he said, the agricultural sector has seen increased investment as part of efforts to guarantee food security.
The 4BBT programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Business Development of Ghana, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Business for Peace Foundation in Oslo.
The programme-launch saw the announcement of both global and local initiatives being built to support economic recovery and strengthen the sustainability and resilience of businesses in Ghana.
Chief Executive officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), John Kumah, sharing insights on the contributions of his outfit to business growth noted that for the past three and half years some 45,000 startup businesses have been engaged by NEIP, and it has funded about 9,350 of them.
He noted that through the work of NEIP, close to 100,000 jobs have been created in the private sector while influencing the paradigm of job-creation among others.
“So, all these are some of the initiatives we have taken within Ghana to ensure we take a lot of young people away from an unemployed situation to a much more empowered situation, by creating an enabling environment for the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ghana.”