Trade Agencies Woo Investors To Ghana

Representatives from trade agencies - the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry at the international trade fair in Lagos, Nigeria last week took turns to outline incentives that await investors who come to invest in Ghana. The agencies touted Ghana as a peaceful investment environment which is conducive for investors to explore and expand their businesses. At the “Ghana Day” business and investment forum held at the sidelines at the Lagos Fair, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the GIPC focused on trade and investment opportunities in Ghana which Nigerian businesses and entrepreneurs can take advantage of. The theme for the fair was “Promoting Ghana-Nigeria Trade Fair for Sustainable Economic Development.” The Acting Deputy Executive Secretary (Operations) of the GFZB Mrs Patience Agbleze Acolor assured prospective investors of the board’s readiness to assist them, particularly when Ghana is being acknowledged as the new frontier for trade and investment due to the recent oil find. She said the incentives available include 100 per cent exemption from payment of direct and indirect duties and levies on all imports for production and exports from free zones; 100 per cent exemption from payment of income tax on profits for 10 years; unimpeded issuance of expatriate work and residence permits; and accelerated on-site customs inspection. “If you are searching for new investments destinations, consider Ghana. We are ready to assist you in expanding your businesses to a new location,” she said. Speaking on the theme “Ghana: Africa's golden gateway to a safe and secure investment destination,” the Director, Marketing and Public Relations of the GIPC, Mr Edward B. Ashong-Lartey invited the private sector in the ECOWAS region to invest in the energy sector on a public private partnership basis. Incentives and guarantees under GIPC Act 478, according to Mr Ashong-Lartey include full repatriation of dividends and net profit attributed to investor; transfer of funds in respect of servicing of foreign loans; guarantee against expropriation which is also enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana and remittance of proceeds in the sale or liquidation of investment. Key sectors and opportunities in Ghana he mentioned are oil and gas, energy, infrastructure (roads, public housing and property development, rail transport and ports), agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and services (information and communications technology, financial services, education). The 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair, was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and covered all aspects of business and economic activities. It was on the theme, “Promoting Trade for Sustainable Economic Transformation.” Lagos is the hub of Nigeria’s business and economic activities as well as its main port of entry. Over 40 entrepreneurs and businesses from Ghana who took part in the fair told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS the GIPC and the GEPA should continue to provide the platform for them to showcase their products and to seek business partnerships within the sub-region. The services export sector, which included the medical tourism and education were represented. Other products showcased include pharmaceuticals, household disinfectants, detergents, herbal products, Shea butter and soaps. Others are textiles and garments, handicraft, beads & beaded items, footwear, hair products and aluminum cook ware. Consistently, Ghanaian companies have participated in three major fairs in Nigeria, namely, the Abuja and Lagos International Trade Fairs and the Arts and Crafts Fair.