A delegation of business leaders – drawn mainly from the financial sector and government officials from Ghana – has visited Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore investments opportunities.
This high-level trade mission was organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s representative office in Accra, in cooperation with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Consulate General of Ghana in Dubai.
The visit, the B&FT understands, was to allow the business leaders – especially those from the financial sector – to explore investments opportunities aimed at meeting the minimum capital-requirement-raise by the regulator, Bank of Ghana (BoG), which cut across the sector.
Ghana’s central bank recently raised the minimum capital requirement for commercial banks, which was moved upward from GH¢120million to GH¢400million – representing a 233% increase.
Savings and Loans Companies and Microfinance Institutions have also had their fair share of increase in minimum capital requirements by the regulator (BoG).
The move to increase the minimum capital requirement has seen some banks disclosing their intention of going to the capital markets to raise additional funds to meet the GH¢400million set by the central bank.
Speaking to the B&FT, the Head of Dubai Chamber of Commerce Cyril Darkwa said: “With Ghana laden with investment opportunities, the Dubai Chamber strives to present these opportunities – be it in agriculture, manufacturing, investment, health delivery services and infrastructure development – to potential investors to enable fruitful partnerships with local companies to take advantage of these opportunities.
“The Dubai Chamber has been at the forefront of increasing trade and investment between Dubai and Ghana. This trip afforded about 35 businesses – including Construction Bank, Legacy Financial Services, Nem Insurance, GIPC, Ghana Free Zones, Ghana Tourist Authority and other government agencies – the unique opportunity of meeting and interacting with Dubai businesses that are keen on investing in Ghana. There were visits to the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC) and Dubai Airport Free Zones Authority to inform delegates of the various opportunities available to them should they decide to set up in any of these free zones,” he added.
During the visit, the Ghanaian delegates attended the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai, where they showcased attractive investment opportunities within Ghana’s banking, agriculture and tourism sectors and networked with UAE businessmen.
A high-level meeting was held at the Dubai Chamber’s premises, which was attended by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture; H.E. Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE; H.E. Ms. Samata Gifty Bukari, Consul General of the Republic of Ghana in Dubai; Mr. Yofi Grant, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Mr. Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President – Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber; and Mr. Omar Khan, Dubai Chamber’s Director of International Offices.
The meeting was followed by business-matching meetings which were hosted at the Dubai Chamber’s head office.
Dr. Akoto stressed Ghana’s commitment to expanding economic cooperation with the UAE, as well as its aim to attract investment from the UAE. He highlighted the tremendous business potential that exists in Ghana and invited UAE companies to visit the African country to explore new opportunities that are opening up in the market.
Addressing the Ghanaian dignitaries, Mr. Nasib explained that Ghana is a market of strategic importance to Dubai Chamber, and noted that the Chamber has worked to build strong relationships with key stakeholders in the country in recent years.
“Ghanaian companies are looking abroad for growth opportunities as they aim to expand their global reach and attract foreign investment. Given these trends, the timing is ideal for Ghanaian companies to build bridges with their Dubai counterparts and benefit from the emirate’s position as a global gateway and preferred investment destination,” said Mr. Nasib.
He revealed that the number of African companies registered with Dubai Chamber has grown rapidly over the last few years to exceed 17,000 – which he said reflects Dubai’s reputation as a preferred hub for African businesses.
For his part, Mr. Khan noted that the trade mission succeeded in achieving its objectives of strengthening bilateral relations, adding that the visit supported the Chamber’s strategy of exploring promising markets around the world with the aim or providing is members with access to new growth opportunities.