Stanley Ahorlu of Prime Meridian Docks (right) conducting Mr Baafi (Left) round some facilities at the port
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Michael Okyere Baafi has told potential investors that Ghana is the best destination for both expatriates and indigenes to do business.
He pointed out that the country’s stable political environment coupled with the growing economy makes it one of the best places for investments in the West African sub-region.
He has therefore called on prospective investors from all over the world, including Ghanaians in the Diaspora, to come and invest in Ghana adding “your investments will be safe under the current government”.
He explained that the Ghana Free Zones Board was poised to promote investment through the provision of conducive business environment and attractive incentives.
Mr Baafi gave the assurance when he visited some of the free zones enterprises operating in the Western Region.
Some of the companies visited during the tour included Prime Meridian Dock at the Takoradi Port, Katoen Natie Ghana Limited that offers logistics services and SAMATEX, a wood processing company at Samreboi in the region.
The visit to the Free Zone enterprises was to give the new Executive Secretary the opportunity to interact with some of the managers of the enterprises in the area, to learn at first hand their challenges and how best the Ghana Free Zones Board could support them.
At the Prime Meridian Dock at the Takoradi Port, Stanley Raja Ahorlu, Managing Director of the company noted that the Takoradi Port had received a major boost as the preferred hub for Oil services for the entire West African sub-region.
He explained that his firm in collaboration with the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA) had constructed a floating dock facility at the Takoradi Port.
He noted that the facility would enable ships, rigs and supply vessels that operate in the Gulf of Guinea at the port to repair any fault they might encounter, making the port an oil services hub in West Africa.
For his part, Kwame Nsiah Asante, Senior Manager of the GFZB explained that Ghana’s free-zone programme had focused on building development through exports adding “so the programme encourages investors to produce goods and services for export”.
“To facilitate this, we offer incentives such as duty fee and tax fee regimes on input, so that the business of export through manufacturing, processing and other ventures is enhanced”.
“The caveat is that business must export at least 70 percent of what they produce and sell up to 30 percent on the local market. The aim is to help bring in foreign direct investments and also help in technology transfer”.
He continued: “The objective is also to create jobs, because we feel that when we provide incentives for people to come in and invest, job opportunities are created through technology transfer and other avenues”.
He pointed out that currently about 18 firms in the Western Region are operating under the free zones board.
He indicated that the free zones board had licensed companies that wanted to add value to existing raw materials and make Ghana the hub or centre of their operations.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi