Ghana among best places to invest worldwide – panelists

Panelists at a business and investment forum at Manhattan, New York have concluded that Ghana’s wealth of resources; investment laws which guarantee 100 per cent transfer of profits, dividends, conducive social, political, economic, environmental and Constitutional guarantees make it one of the best places for investments in the world and Africa in particular.

They convinced the large audience made up of the New York business community, United States companies with business interest in Ghana, diaspora investors among others that investing in Ghana will yield better returns since the country’s enviable political climate and tax incentives make Ghana a very good case for investments.

The panelists were – Dr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, Minister for Private Sector Development, Mrs. Mawuena Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment and Promotions Centre (GIPC), Mr. Jeffrey Krilla, vice president, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, Kosmos Energy and Ms. Nicole Bivens Collison, president, International Trade and Government Relations, Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg.

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations as part of activities to mark Ghana’s 59th independence anniversary, it was sponsored by Kasapreko, producers of Alomo bitters, Kosmos and Brussels Airlines, in collaboration with Face to Face Africa.It featured a question and answer session, sampling of Ghanaian cuisine and live band music.

Dr.Pelpuo made the case that investors who come to Ghana must rest assured that their equities will be protected and also grow to appreciable levels as had been the case of the various American and other foreign investors.

Luckily, he noted that the investment climate in Ghana is not crowded. To this end, he invited all those interested in Africa to make Ghana the first point of call since all those with investments in Ghana have never regretted.

The Minister went on to say that there is massive infrastructural development including the expansion of the airports, modernization and expansion of the harbours and other facilities adding that most of these projects are being undertaken under a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Mrs. Trebarh made a video presentation on the increasing growth in the Foreign Direct Investment in Ghana. She mentioned that energy, agriculture and agro-processing, oil, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure for real estate,industrial and commercial purposes were among the important areas for investment. Opportunities also existed in the development process. A lot of apparel producing companies in Ghana were also looking for the right American companies to team up with in business, the Head of the GIPC said.

Describing Ghana as the gateway to Africa, she explained the procedures for setting up businesses in Ghana, the amount of capital one needed to set up among others. Various efforts by the government, Mrs. Trebarh indicated had paid off tremendously with Ghana being recognized by the World Bank Doing Business Report 2014 as the “Best Place for Doing Business in the ECOWAS Region”.

Aside getting worldwide attraction and confidence, Mrs. Trebarh spoke about Ghana’s existing huge tourism potential, the unparalled hospitality and invited the investors to take advantage of the special attractive incentives in the entertainment and leisure facilities. In this direction, she announced that the Tourism Investment Company had been created to partner with investors so she challenged them to take advantage of the facility.
At her turn, Ms Collison highlighted on ethical business and transparency as important factors that American companies always considered before investments outside.

In addition, she mentioned that protecting brand names was an equally essential ingredient that American investors factored before doing any business.

Luckily, she indicated that Ghana had a lot of advantages, including the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) that allowed Ghanaian companies to do business in America and vice versa, apart from other existing trade and investment protocols between Ghana and the USA to protect their businesses.

On his part, Mr. Krilla was proud of the successful business environment in Ghana, saying that currently KOSMOS, which is one of the American companies there, had about 200 workers with an operational capital of $3billion.

He particularly mentioned the support the company was getting from the Ghana government.

Addressing the function, Mrs. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Ghana’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said on the “economic front, Ghana is steadily emerging from the impact of the global financial crisis, falling commodity prices and energy crisis and has put in place sound policies that will ensure resilience and sustainability”.

Ghana, as well as other African countries, she noted needed capital to finance innovative business ideas in an environment where socio-economic challenges could be turned into benefits.

The Ambassador argued that ‘investing capital directly in people with sensible business innovations and solutions to improve the wealth of developing nations offers win-win opportunities critical to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals “.

Picture Credit – R.Harry Reynolds

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