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Business News of Friday, 8 February 2013

Source: B&FT

FDI flows hit US$4.9bn

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ghana, based on the value of registered projects, was US$4.9billion in 2012, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) said this week.

A total of 399 projects were registered by the Centre in the year, acting Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Mawuena Trebarh said.

She said FDI slowed in 2012 due to investor uncertainty about Ghana’s elections. The slowdown was “characteristic” of past election years, she added. In 2011 when Ghana’s economy surged by 14.4 percent due to oil, the value of FDI was US$6.82billion and the Centre registered 514 projects. Growth is expected to have slowed to 7.1 percent last year after the initial impact of the oil sector diminished.

China, with 56 projects, topped the list of countries with the highest number of registered projects in 2012, while Lebanon with total investments of US$1.49 billion was the largest source of investment in terms of value.

Countries such as India, Nigeria, Britain, USA, Germany and Mauritius were among the top-ten investor countries by number of projects, according to the data. In terms of value, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, USA, Netherlands, UAE and Canada were in the top-ten.

In addition to FDI, the Centre registered GH¢1.31billion (US$726.28million) worth of projects valued in local currency in 2012, taking total local and foreign investments recorded to US$5.63billion. Among the investments, joint ventures between Ghanaians and foreigners were valued at US$1.97billion, and purely foreign enterprises were valued at US$3.66billion.

Mrs. Trebarh said the initial capital transferred by the investors was US$98.97million in 2012, compared to US$213.29million in 2011. A total of 24,562 jobs were expected to be created from the projects registered last year, she added. Expatriates benefitted from 2,370 of the jobs, while locals got the remainder.

“As Ghana marches on in its development agenda to move from a lower middle-income to middle-income status, there is need for us to continue policies and reforms that will result in attracting the appropriate kind and volumes of investments required to service the new status,” she said.

In the 2012/2013 Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum, the country moved eleven places up from 114 to 103. And in October last year, the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report ranked Ghana fifth in sub-Saharan Africa and 63rd in the world for the ease of doing business.

In addition, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s World Investment Report 2012 ranked Ghana fourth among the top destinations for investment in Africa and a top-five recipient of FDI into the continent in 2011.

In terms of tourism, the New York Times newspaper recently listed Accra as the fourth among 46 places in the world that travellers should visit in 2013.

The GIPC boss said as an institution for encouraging, promoting and facilitating investments in the country, the Centre will position itself to attract and retain investments that create jobs and add value to Ghana’s raw materials for export.

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