Business News of Saturday, 29 July 2017
Mr Frederick Attakumah, President of the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), has praised the country for maintaining stability and becoming an important investment destination in Africa.
The Chamber President, however, said more efforts are required to woo additional investments from abroad in order to meet its socio- economic growth objectives.
Mr Attakumah was addressing the business community at a Power Breakfast event organised by the Chamber on promoting partnerships with foreign investors.
The meeting was on the topic: “Promoting joint venture partnerships with foreign investors.”
“Ghana, as a country, has largely met the basic requirements of being a stable and important investment destination in Africa but needs to attract further investments, both local and foreign, in order to achieve its socio-economic growth and development objectives,” he said.
He said both government and the business community should refocus on the opportunities presented by joint ventures as “we seek to speed up on our economic development journey.”
He lauded various government initiatives including Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit and the upcoming Ghana Investment Summit.
“We believe, [these initiatives] lead to outcomes whereby strategic investments can be made in areas that will radically transform our economy while yielding the desired returns,” Mr Attakumah said.
The Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, he said, saw a major boost from the Government of Canada a few weeks ago to the tune of C$ 125 million in the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana programme.
“The One District One Factory Policy, which seeks to push the country further up the industrialization curve, is yet another major policy effort the Government has commenced work on,” he said.
He said the extractive sector, particularly, oil and gas and mining (bauxite) also have the potential to positively impact the business sector.
“All of these initiatives…present unique opportunities for Ghanaian businesses to effectively participate on their own, should their capabilities permit, or do so in partnership with foreign investors through joint ventures,”
“The potential benefits of complementing of individual strengths, sharing of risks and rewards, transfer of technology and growth of local equity over time are quite well known.
The Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce was established to provide an outstanding platform for growth and development of the businesses of its members and the Ghana business community.
President of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) Nana Osei Bonsu called for a review of the minimum threshold for strategic investors in Ghana to allow indigenous people to qualify and enjoy the incentives associated with it.
He said the $50 million investment required for one to qualify as a strategic investor was also unfavourable.
“How many Ghanaians have that kind of amount; we don’t have it but we also need to enjoy the incentives to grow so that threshold must be reviewed,” he said.
Ms Heather Cameron, High Commissioner of Canada, said successful joint ventures offered access to new markets and distribution networks, access to greater resources, including specialised staff, technology and finance, and sharing of risks and costs.
She said Canada has much to offer in terms of financial investment, technical expertise, specialized equipment, services and training.
“We believe that there is untapped potential, in all parts of the natural resource and energy sectors, [hence the need] for further collaboration between Ghanaians and Canadians to develop these sectors sustainable for long term economic and social development.”