UK investors will be signing potential business deals worth over £500 million in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, the head of a business delegation that attended the UK-Ghana Investment Summit in Accra yesterday, Baroness Rona Fairhead, has said.
The UK’s Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion explained that the investments “range from infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants and rail refurbishment, to support in facilitating investment into Ghana’s priority industrial sectors, to showcasing the unrivalled financial services and world-class professional services expertise of UK firms.”
Baroness Fairhead added that the UK firmly believes in President Akufo-Addo’s vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, and will offer its support by promoting partnerships between UK companies and local firms.
“Ghana Beyond Aid is ambitious and compelling – based on economic transformation and industrialisation such as the One District, One Factory initiative, and closer integration with global supply chains.”
She told President Akufo-Addo, who attended the summit, that: “Your vision is one we are keen to partner with. Let’s partner the financial strength, services and technical expertise of the UK companies with the potential, ambition and local networks of Ghanaian firms”.
The president also assured UK investors that the country has the right economic fundamentals in place to ensure their businesses are profitable.
“Government believes growing the economy the right way with a level playing field is the best option for our country’s future, and that is what we are trying to do. The economic fundamentals, which were for a long-time off-target, are now beginning to point in the right direction. The growth rate of 8.5 percent in 2017 is likely to be repeated this year – up from 3.6 percent in 2016.
The attainment of single-digit inflation; a relatively stable currency despite the challenges of a strong dollar; reduction in lending rates and implementation of policies such as the paperless ports system; E-Business registration; the mobile interoperability system which is helping to formalise the economy; lowering the cost of doing business, and cutting down of excessive bureaucracy are some of the steps being taken to revive the Ghanaian economy.
There is a government in place that believes in market principles and welcomes investors who want to work to promote the same and help build our economy. It is an exciting time to be in Ghana and to do business in the country,” he said.
He further urged the UK firms to take advantage of the incentive packages government has put in place to attract investors, assuring them that their investments will be safe.
“I urge the UK business delegation to take advantage of the country’s growing business climate to invest in Ghana. Government has instituted a number of incentives for the investor, depending on the activity or location of the investment. This is to ensure that your investments succeed.
“Some of these incentives include exemption from paying import duty for plant and machinery; a 25 percent tax rebate for companies located in regional capitals; 50 percent tax rebate for companies investing outside regional capitals; zero percent corporate tax for 10 years, and thereafter 8 percent tax for companies in the free zones enclave; full repatriation of dividends and profits; and laws against arbitrary confiscation of companies or investments.
“I assure you that your investments will be safe and protected, because Ghana is a country governed with the rule of law,” he said.