GIPC Boss ‘Snubs’ Foreign Investors

Celestino Alvarez Neira speaking to some journalists

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, on Thursday failed to turn up for a meeting with investors from the Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce.

The representatives of the organisation, which has some 54 foreign businesses as its members, were disappointed at the turn of event as they had to wait for almost two hours for a meeting which never came off.

Within the waiting period, a communiqué which sought to suggest that a representative on behalf of the CEO, in the person of a director from the centre would be attending the meeting, also turned out to be untrue.

The situation left representatives that also included the president of the Europe Business Organisation (EBO)-Ghana, Celestino Alvarez Neira, very displeased.

Speaking in an interview, Mr. Neira said the meeting would have offered a fine opportunity for investors to seek clarity on reforms in the GIPC Act (2013) which clearly spells out the legal framework on which foreign direct investment would operate.

“We are sure that the government will establish this Act and will give us very strong clarity as soon as possible,” he said.

The European Union (EU), he said, remains the largest trading partner in the country as it had invested approximately €8 billion over the past three years.

He added that agreements such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) signed in 2016 which allowed for the transport of some Ghanaian products to the EU market under no quota restrictions and duty-free served as an attestation of EU’s commitment to helping Ghana industrialise.

Mr. Neira expressed the view that legislations on capital requirement could be reviewed to allow foreign medium-scale enterprises (MSE) to invest in the country which would still create employment and fulfill other obligations under existingregulations.

“There is nothing wrong in a small company coming from Europe operating in Ghana and employing one person in the first year and employing five persons in the second year, then 20, 40 and 80 over the next five years,” he said.

The President of SGCC, Nadim Ghanen-Pares, highlighted some key concerns of the organisation that it hoped would be discussed.

This included the facilitation of entry for businesses that had no competition in the country due to the deployment of advanced technology for production.

By Issah Mohammed

 

 

 

 

 

 

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