Business News of Thursday, 3 August 2017
As part of efforts to create an enabling environment and make Ghana the best place to do business in Africa, while creating more job avenues to curb unemployment issues in the country, government is introducing certain reforms within the business sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), who made this revelation said government is looking at industrial infrastructure development which includes; railways and road network that will connect regions and ensure easy movement of goods and people.
According to Mr. Yofi Grant, government has not had the space to invest more into infrastructure, therefore, the reforms will turn the economy around and place the country at where it becomes the centre of businesses in West Africa.
“We want to position Ghana as the best place to do business in West Africa. There are quite a lot of things we’ll want to do. There are no clear cuts yet but that is why we are engaging in these kind of discussions to get feedback from many of the businesses,” he reiterated.
Stressing on the need for reforms, he said, foreign investors will be attracted into the country and indigenous businesses will also improve their services which will in turn provide more employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed youth in the country.
While reforming the sector, Mr. Grant disclosed that certain government projects such as the one-district, one-factory, will also be reviewed to attract both foreign and local investors so as to be able to achieve better results and extract more revenue from projects for national development.
“Our preference will be partnerships and going forward there are many things we need to do with the incentive regime and as mentioned, the one district one factory policy is currently being reviewed to see how best we can make it attractive,” he noted.
However, he said, before these modifications are implemented, government through the GIPC will sensitize local businesses on the significance and how the reforms will boost business confidence and also discuss with them the benefits they stand to enjoy from the new regime.
New tax exemption regime
Mr. Grant who was addressing CEO’s at a Breakfast Meeting in Accra Thursday on the theme “Policy Update: Ghana’s Tax Exemption Regime”, said his outfit is mandated under section 26 of the GIPC Act to grant import duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions to qualified companies registered with Centre.
He explained that the new tax exemptions directive, which was introduced by government in the 2017 budget, are targeted at improving the current business challenges and creating opportunities to produce dynamic and innovative solutions aimed at ensuring that Ghana becomes the best place to do business in Africa.
“A typical approved strategic investment has incentives which include exemptions from the payment of import duty and VAT on plant machinery and equipment specifically for the project, construction materials specifically for the project, and on locally purchased construction materials and equipment required specifically for the project,” he remarked.
About the GIPC CEO’s Breakfast Meeting
Introduced in 2013, the quarterly series is held to engage the Ghanaian business community on government policy deliberations and decision-making, and to ensure adequate representation of their views and concerns.
In the first quarter of 2017, the event was rebranded to reflect the new direction and vision of the Centre. The first edition of the ‘Ghana on the Go Breakfast Meeting’ series was convened to review the 2013 GIPC Act, its impact, and suggestions for improvement.
The outcomes of the event further underscored the need for continuous engagement with the private sector and other key stakeholders on current business challenges and opportunities to produce dynamic and innovative solutions aimed at ensuring that Ghana becomes the best place to do business in Africa.