Trade Ministry engages SA-based investors

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has urged businesses based in South Africa, particularly those owned by Ghanaians, to take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities available in Ghana.

Speaking in South Africa during a South African-Ghana Business seminar, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said government has put in place various incentives and policies which guarantee good returns on investments.

“You are very important when it comes to the economic emancipation of Ghana, and the reason I say so is because for the past five to ten years the contribution of our brothers and sisters from the diaspora, or remittances into Ghana, far exceeds the total of what donors give to us as budget support.

“So, if you consider this fact, it stands to reason that we cannot do things without considering our brothers and sisters in the diaspora – especially those who have a little bit more – to come and invest in our country for us to move it forward. If you take out the oil, and of course the cocoa, I believe that the remittances from brothers and sisters or Ghanaians in the diaspora comes third when it comes to FDI,” Mr. Ahenkorah said.

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The delegation, made up of representatives from the ministry, Ghana Free Zones Authority, Ghana Investments Promotion Council (GIPC), Ghana South Africa Business Council – a non-profit making organisation committed to facilitating trade between the two countries – and their South African counterparts held discussions on broad areas.

The event also featured presentations on topics such as Opportunities for Sustainable Development Partnerships by the Ghana Free Zones Authority; Investment Potential and Opportunities by GIPC; as well as an experience-sharing session for businesses operating in both Ghana and South Africa.

According to the minister, Ghana not only provides the most stable environment to invest in Africa but has also introduced a new tax regime with the emphasis on production – which is aimed at driving rapid industrialisation and job creation.

He added: “The goal of government is to move the economy from being purely reliant on taxation into production. And so, we are embarking on a vigorous industrialisation drive to get our economy to the level where we can also see that we have an industrialised economy.

“The government of Ghana has come up with a ten-point industrial transformation strategic agenda, which if pursued will get us to where we expect Ghana to be. We have also moved our country from that era when we relied on the little that people bring in – in terms of indirect taxes – to creating jobs for our youths on the streets.”

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Among other things, the minister said, government has ensured there is an efficient and reliable electricity supply system; stimulus packages or industrial revitalisation programmes for manufacturing companies; and electronic business registration and port clearing regimes.

“Countries such as South Africa – and even other countries on the continent – are way ahead in this department. We are now fighting and, of course, we are very optimistic that with the speed of Usain Bolt we will get there – but this cannot be possible unless people like you bring your mind to what government has planned to do for the country,” Mr. Ahenkorah further noted.

Courtesy: South African Commission, The SA Business Chamber and GIPC

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