Yoofi Grant addressing the press from the conference room of GIPC
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) intends to meet an ambitious target of attracting about $5 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country in 2017.
This will represent an increment of about $2.6 billion over the 2016 amount of $2.4 billion, and a total of 180 projects for that year, BUSINESS GUIDE gathered.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIPC, Yoofi Grant made this known on Friday in Accra while briefing the media about the recent visit of 30-member delegation from Ghana to Mauritius on an investment promotion mission.
According to Mr. Grant, the GIPC is being repositioned to help create an international financial services centre in Ghana to attract investment funds which can be channeled to other African countries to help promote trade and give meaning to the regionalization of the continent.
He explained that GIPC was making efforts to make Ghana the most attractive investment and business destination in Africa.
It is achievable if we remove the stumbling blocks that make investments in our country unattractive, he said.
He indicated that the legislation on making Ghana a Financial Services Centre had already been passed by Parliament.
“What is left is for the doors to be opened for financial entities, namely insurance and banking firms, to start making contributions to that vision.
The four-day mission held on the occasion of the official visit of the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to Mauritius, was organized in collaboration with the Board of Investment (BOI), an entity responsible for promoting trade in Mauritius.
Members of the delegation, BUSINESS GUIDE gathered, were drawn from the Ghana Free Zones Board, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), CEOs and heads of 30 private sector companies operating in the financial services, ICT, tourism, trade, sanitation and agriculture.
Mr. Grant indicated that a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) were signed between the Ghanaian businessmen and their Mauritian counterparts.
Also, he said, there were a number of trade agreements signed between the governments of Ghana and Mauritius, key among them being the proposed establishment of an economic park at Dawa, near Accra, for the establishment of Mauritian firms.
The property at Dawa has been secured, the title has been secured, all that is left is to sign the bilateral treaty. Plans are being made to establish similar parks at Kwabenya in Accra, he said.
GIPC is being repositioned to ensure that Mauritian firms that want to do business in Ghana are served with the necessary trade information and support expeditiously.
Mauritius is a pretty small country with a population of 1.3 million that is almost about a quarter of Accra and has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about $6.5 billion.
Mauritius is currently the number one country when it comes to ease of doing business in Africa. Mauritius has a very ambitious plan of leading the way in Africa regional integration and they are doing so by finding partners on the continent through trade and investment. Mauritius has chosen Ghana as the country it wants to first start a very close trade and investment relationship with in its drive of regional integration, he said.
Mauritius manages about $28 billion worth of investment, which they believe they can deploy to boost trade in Africa, according to Mr. Grant.
GIPC and BOI are preparing to sign an MoU to collaborate to enable GIPC play a leading role in our economic development like they have done in their country, he said.
In 2015, ex-President Mahama visited Mauritius where he reportedly initiated a number of activities where there were MoUs signed to collaborate in many business spheres.
The recent delegation, he said, made efforts to strengthen some of those 2015 MoUs and proceeded with some of them.
“One of them of course was an initial MoU of collaboration between ourselves (GIPC) and BOI. We will update it, perfect it and then sign it. What this will mean is that at some point, we will expect some of our offices to go to Mauritius to build capacity, understand how they were able to transform. They, on the other hand, will bring some people to help us with training and visioning.”
By Melvin Tarlue