Parliament considers GIPC Bill

Members of Parliament on Tuesday started considering 22 amendments proposed under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill. Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, advised that the whole of clause five of the Bill, which deals with the governance of the Centre, be deferred for further consultation. The forty four clause bill is to revise the law relating to investment promotion and to establish the GIPC as the government agency responsible for the encouragement and promotion of investments and for creating a congenial environment for investment in Ghana. The Centre is responsible for investment promotion under the GIPC Act 1994 (Act 478) through functions such as initiating and supporting measures that will enhance the investment climate for both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian companies and to promote investment in and outside Ghana through effective incentives and making and other strategies. The Act stipulates that enterprises set up solely for export trading are exempted from the minimum capital requirement to encourage the setting up of products originating from the country. This provision is retained in the new bill. Other benefits under Act 478 are guaranteed against expropriation dispute settlement procedures, immigrant quotas, incentives for special investments and transferability of earnings. After being in operation for a decade and a half, Act 478 had been overtaken by events, economic and investment climate, which existed when it was enacted, had undergone major changes leaving the Act behind. The recent development had also highlighted shortcomings in the Act as well as provided a new policy focus. There is now an urgent need to provide specialized incentives to attract and retain strategic investors to make Ghana a competitive investment destination and to provide Ghanaians with opportunities to take advantage of the improved economic situation prevailing in the country. The bill embraces all enterprises including mining and petroleum enterprises, which were hitherto not covered by Act 478. A report of the Finance Committee on the Request for approval of government of Ghana’s Access to the International Capital Market to Issue a second international sovereign bond (Eurobond) up to one billion United States Dollars (US$1,000 million).