Business News of Saturday, 11 March 2017
Many more firms in the United Kingdom (UK) are now willing to do business in Ghana to take advantage of the new government’s pro-business policies, a senior UK government official has disclosed.
Adam Afriyie MP, Trade Envoy for UK Prime Minister Theresa May, made the disclosure when he led a delegation from the UK – Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) to pay a working visit on the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The visit, aimed at strengthening the existing trade relations between the two countries, was also an opportunity for the UK government and business to discuss how they could support Ghana to achieve her infrastructure development goals. Ghana is the UK’s fourth largest export market in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The policies and budget of the Akufo-Addo government have a positive, private sector-driven agenda and the UK is ready to help the government achieve its aims and targets”, Hon. Adam Afriyie indicated.
“The environment is very refreshing. In the past it has been difficult for me to recommend that UK firms invest in Ghana. But so far it’s been good, and long may it continue.”
Vice President Dr Bawumia reiterated the government’s determination to make Ghana the investment destination of choice on the African continent.
“Government’s focus is on encouraging the private sector to help in making Ghana Africa’s most business friendly country.
“Our agenda is to remove the bottlenecks in doing business, reduce the cost of doing business, create a low tax environment for businesses in Ghana, increase the standard of living of Ghanaians, and the budget statement presented by the Finance Minister to Parliament attests to these” he stated.
“We have to manage the economy in a fiscally responsible manner,” the Vice President added.
The Nana Akufo-Addo government, Dr Bawumia continued, would strengthen the fight against corruption, especially in the award of contracts.
“There will be transparency in the award of contracts. We will make sure we move away from era of sole sourcing contracts; we will be guided by the law. Rule of law will be at the center of this government, corruption will not be tolerated. As President Akufo-Addo has earlier indicated, the Right To Information bill will soon be passed by Parliament.”
Mr. Jon Benjamin, UK High Commissioner to Ghana, bemoaned the fact that trade between the two countries had dropped by a third in the last three years, and hoped the renewed commitment would boost bilateral relations.
“Ghana is very important to us, and we hope we can grow our trade again,” H.E. Benjamin indicated.