Business News of Saturday, 2 September 2017
The government has decided to open new channels for investment drive into the country.
This is being done through Ghana’s missions abroad with facilitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
The ministry has therefore reopened its Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau (ECTIB), an initiative aimed at positioning it (ministry) as a strategic partner and player in the pursuit of government’s vision of developing a new Ghana beyond aid.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said several examples abound all over the world of how advanced economies have leveraged effectively the tools of foreign policy to secure the well-being of their peoples.
This, he said, has been done with the aim of increasing trade, foreign direct investments, tourism, technical cooperation, education, health, agriculture and transfer of technology.
The ECTIB, the president noted, “is, indeed, a welcome and timely addition to help facilitate further investments, domestic and foreign, into Ghana.”
By its formal inauguration, President Akufo-Addo underscored, “The Ministry has signaled to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the private sector, that it is committed to deepening its involvement in the development of our country.
“It is my expectation, therefore, that we will work together to build on the foundation that has been laid today through regular and meaningful interaction among all the ministries concerned, as well as the private sector.”
With trade facilitation increasingly becoming a valuable tool in integrating economies into global value chains, creating wealth and employment in many countries, the president indicated that Ghana needs to improve customs function to support targeted trade facilitation, and promote intra-regional trade through the implementation of ECOWAS Protocols and Continental Trade Policies.
To this end, Government, he added, had put in place measures to start the paperless port project, effective yesterday, 1st September.
“It would entail a paperless clearing process that should provide a platform for an integrated clearance process to minimise the human factor as much as possible, and reduce processing time for trade documents. Importers should now spend a maximum of four (4) hours in clearing their goods from the nation’s ports,” he stressed.
Acknowledging the substantial contribution to Ghana’s balance of payments, employment, national income and production by tourism, President Akufo-Addo noted that one of the most important goals of his government is to optimize the socio-economic growth of the country through tourism-related activities.
“The construction of a new terminal at the Kotoka International Airport is intended to strengthen the tourist infrastructure to permit an increase in the volume of foreign tourists,” he added.
Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said the decision was inspired by the president’s vision of transforming Ghana’s economy into an industrial, prosperous and resilient one.
Even though other strategies have been mapped out, she indicated, “Our focus now is on how to pull ideas, resources and energy towards our common goal.”
That, she said, therefore calls for closer collaboration and harmonization of activities among the various public and private institutions vital to the country’s economic progress as encapsulated in the Africa Union (AU) 50-year development plan dubbed, ‘Agenda 2063’ and the complimentary United Nations’ (UN’s) sustainable development goals dubbed, ‘Agenda 2030.’