A ten-member delegation from the Council of the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce has paid a courtesy call on Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The meeting’s purpose was to discuss the way forward for businesses in the Chamber looking at the current economic situation, and also to invite the Vice President to the Chamber’s annual flagship event dubbed ‘CEOs Connect’.
The delegation was led by president of the Chamber Alexander Nortey, who reiterated that the Chamber’s focus for the year is to raise capital and acquire funding for its members in the SME space.
Briefing the Vice President on some of the activities and trade shows held in Canada within which the Chamber participates, the president highlighted PDAC – which is the mining show, Global Energy Show for the energy sector; and Construct Canada for the construction industry. He said participation in these shows have resulted in bringing some investment and partnerships into the country.
Mr. Nortey also stated that, last year, about thirty participants were assisted by the Chamber to attend the Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit held in Toronto, Canada. The event was organised by Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in collaboration with the Chamber.
The Vice President applauded the Chamber for supporting SMEs. He said government is poised to help raise capital to support SMEs, since they represent about 90% of businesses in Ghana. He stated that SMEs will soon be clothed with a unique identity that will make it easy for due diligence to be done on them, and therefore increase the possibility of them accessing funding and investment both locally and globally.
Dr. Bawumia used the opportunity to speak about the newly-launched Digital Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate, which will enable taxpayers file their tax returns, check their tax compliance status and print their tax clearance certificate online. With this platform, the GRA now has a tool to do follow-ups on companies that are not tax-compliant and bring them in to widen the tax net.
The Vice President empathied with businesses which have to operate under the current unstable economic conditions. Policies like ‘Gold for oil’, which has stabilised the cedi and reduced fuel prices in the short-term – coupled with government determination to reduce our debt ratios so as to qualify us for the IMF bailout, are indications that government is poised to revive the economy.
Senior Trade Commissioner at the Canadian High Commission, Andrew Maharaj, urged Ghana’s government to look into foreign content requirements to help bring more investment and bilateral trade between Ghana and Canada. Andrew Maharaj gave the Vice President a heads-up on Canada’s preparation toward the Africa Trade Strategy, which will place more focus on Ghana.