Business News of Monday, 13 March 2017
Many firms in the United Kingdom (UK) are now willing to do business in Ghana to take advantage of the government’s pro-business policies, a senior government official of the UK has said.
Mr Adam Afriyie, a Member of Parliament (MP) and Trade Envoy for UK Prime Minister Theresa May, said this when he led a delegation from the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) to pay a courtesy call on the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The visit, aimed at strengthening the existing trade relations between the two countries, was also an opportunity for the UK government and businesses to discuss how they could support Ghana to achieve its development goals.
Ghana is the UK’s fourth largest export market in sub-Saharan Africa.
Private sector-driven agenda
“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”, Mr Afriyie said.
He said the environment was very refreshing and that in the past it had been difficult for him to recommend that UK firms to invest in Ghana.
“But so far it has been good, and long may it continue,” he added.
Vice-President Dr Bawumia reiterated the government’s determination to make Ghana the investment destination of choice on the African continent.
The government’s focus, he said, was 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.
He said there was the need to manage the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, adding that the government 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 the era of sole sourcing contracts; we will be guided by the law. Rule of law will be at the centre 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.”
The UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jon Benjamin bemoaned the fact that trade between the two countries had dropped by a third in the last three years, and expressed the hope that the renewed commitment would boost bilateral relations.
“Ghana is very important to us, and we hope we can grow our trade again,” he stressed.