Finance Minister Woos Japanese Businesses

Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has appealed to Japanese businesses to invest in Ghana which has a stable political and economic environment.

Mr Ofori-Atta made the call during a seminar attended by over 150 leading Japanese businesses held in Tokyo at the end of a week-long visit to Japan.

Organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Embassy in Tokyo and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), it was aimed at exposing Japanese business community to potential investment opportunities in Ghana.

Also present at the event were Ghanaian and Japanese companies operating in Ghana, as well as a government delegation led by Ken Ofori-Atta, which is on a week’s non-deal investor roadshow to Japan.

He said with a population of 350 million, which is expected to reach 500 million in 20 years and a 1.5 trillion GDP that is likely to double in 20 years, West Africa is ripe for investment.

Charles Adu Boahen, Deputy Minister for Finance, in a presentation, highlighted investment opportunities in sectors such as financial services, ICT, Fintech, energy, transport and agribusiness etc.

He also mentioned that the financial technology sector is a key growth area, adding that in 2017 alone, there was about 34 billion worth of mobile money transactions, representing about 70 percent of Ghana’s GDP of $45 billion.

“It has really become the mode for transactions and transfers and payment, we sort of leapfrogged the credit card era and moved straight to mobile payments and mobile money solutions. We have about 10 million mobile money customers and 38 million mobile subscribers. These are the areas Japanese firms are good at in terms of technology.”

Kingsley Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister for Trade spoke on the Ten Point Transformational Agenda, which included the government’s plan for industrialising all 264 districts in the country under the 1D1F programme.

He said the programme is aimed at creating jobs, enhancing resource potential in every district, creating import substitutes and producing products for exports, as well as curbing rural-urban migration, among others.

Mr Ahenkorah said government intends to make these private sector-led, saying “it is not a business for government to pump money into, however, if you want to secure your investment and require government involvement, government is prepared to take an equity in your business.”

In a welcome address earlier, Dr Katsumi Hirano, Executive Vice President of JETRO, said the relationship between Japan and Ghana had been very cordial over the years and urged government to take steps to conclude and sign the Bilateral Investment Treaty to pave the way for Japanese companies to comfortably invest in Ghana.