The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, has dismissed assertions that the US$5 billion target in foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ghana for this year is overly ambitious.
He said the important thing was to aim high and try to achieve it by creating the enabling environment.
In an interview during the Economic Counsellors Dialogue (ECD) in Accra, Mr Grant cited that the integrated aluminium project and the northern iron ore deposit earmarked for exploitation for a steel industry among others, gave hope for a lot of investment opportunities for investors in the country.
“If we have two groups that want to do it this year, we are probably looking at an inward investment of US$8 billion. What we are saying is that at least we should try to attract investment of US$5 billion by the end of the year,” he said.
In addition, he said the one district, one factory had become an interesting opportunity for a lot of foreign investors although Ghanaians were also expected to participate extensively, and that alone was significant investment that comes in.
Creating a business, transport and financial hub
He said Ghana was considered a beacon of peace in West Africa such that should Ghana work out good politically and economically, the sub-region stood a better chance of moving ahead.
Therefore, it is imperative to reposition Ghana in a way that it can continue to play the leading role in the renaissance of the African economies.
“Ghana has impeccable democratic credentials, it’s a happy place and everybody is now looking at Ghana. And so it’s important that we position ourselves as the regional hub.
But we can do that once we do our reforms and open up our economy then we can attract the investors who will do things for West Africa from Ghana,” he said.
Mr Grant said looking at the countries that Ghana had benchmarked, namely, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda and Senegal which had embarked on reforms to attract investment, it was necessary to position Ghana as the entry point to West Africa.
“Maybe, we should also give a 10-year tax holiday to big companies that want to establish their regional offices in Ghana to attract the bigger players such as the Microsofts and the Googles. But it is not sealed but still under discussion,” he said.
He also said that issues such as the number of jobs to be created, whether value chain businesses would be built were all being considered before any move on tax incentive.
“At the end of the day, the important thing is to remove the front load for investors, enable them to come in, do their businesses and we tax them. But it is important to also have the big players come into the market as a demonstrative effect,” he said.