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Business News of Wednesday, 7 September 2016


British investors to tour Ghana next month

Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner to Ghana

The United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) will host a multi-sector business trip to Accra next month for British companies, investors, exporters, importers and small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

According to the organisers, the investment team will kick-start the tour of the country from Monday, October 17 to Friday October, 21.

A statement issued and signed by Tony Burkson, Chief Executive Officer of the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, and copied to the press in Accra said the five-day Ghana Investment Tour (GIT) would focus on showcasing collaborative and investment opportunities in Ghana’s technology, tourism and agriculture sectors.

It would also provide a platform for UK firms, SMEs and investors to communicate with key regulators, potential local partners, and leading private sector players in the country.

The UKGCC was officially launched in Accra on September 1, to facilitate and promote trade and commercial relations between the UK and Ghana, and act as the voice for British businesses looking to access and engage with the Ghanaian market, whilst providing assistance to Ghanaian companies investing in the UK, the statement said.

“Ghana remains an exciting prospect for British companies due to its historic trading relationships with the UK. British expertise and innovation is highly sought after in Ghana and the wider West Africa region,” Mr Burkson said.

“The Ghana Investment Tour is an opportunity for British companies to meet decision makers, regulators and potential business partners in Ghana. The UKGCC is excited to welcome British businesses to Accra in October for the Ghana Investment Tour,” he added.

The statement said the UK is one of the largest foreign investors in Ghana, and a number of British brands already operate in the West African country, including Barclays, Standard Chartered, Vodafone, Tullow, Blue Skies, British Airways, G4S, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, and Diageo.

It said Ghana is also a favoured choice for SMEs making their first steps exporting into Africa, with benefits such as skilled and trainable labour, immediate access to all the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) markets, and a large consumer base with a growing middle class.

The statement noted that the GIT aims to give new, business-focused entrants to Ghana a packaged opportunity to research and act-upon their business and investment interests in the country, alongside a friendly team of UK and Ghanaian experts and professionals.

It said the tour is being supported by the Development of International Trade (DIT) in Ghana (formerly UKTI) and is organised in partnership with AB2020, a British company that connects and highlights investors, businesses, projects and entrepreneurs operating in Ghana, and sub-Saharan Africa.

AB2020 Creator and UK-born Ghanaian Akosua Annobil, based in London said: “From traditional investors and angel networks, to tech start-ups and the Africa Diaspora, we’ve seen a healthy rise in appetite to do business in Ghana over the past year.

“However, we’ve also found that due to misconceptions, lack of connections, and perhaps a limited understanding of the diverse opportunities and cultures in the country, many are unsure of how to start and where to navigate.

“As a UK-based company with a Ghana focus we aim to ease those anxieties, which is why we’re excited to be partnering with the UKGCC on a series of Ghana Investment Tours for the British business community in October this year, and into 2017,” she added.

The statement said Ghana is one of the largest economies within ECOWAS, and in terms of investment is currently ranked 70th out of 189 countries in the latest World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings, placing the country as the fifth most favourable place to conduct business in Africa after Mauritius (28th), South Africa (43rd), Rwanda (46th), Tunisia (60th), and the first in West Africa above countries such as Cote d’Ivoire (147th), Togo (149th), Benin (151st), Burkina Faso (167th) and Nigeria (170th).

It said with a shared history and cultural links, Ghana and the UK have a strong bilateral trade relationship, strengthened by a steady stream of ministerial and diplomatic visits from high profile figures in recent years, including HRH Prince Edward and Adam Afriyie, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.

Ghana is the UK’s fifth largest export market in sub-Saharan Africa, with bilateral trade of goods and services totalling £1.05 billion in 2014.

Top exports from the UK to Ghana include road vehicles, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, beverages, electrical machinery and appliances, specialised machinery and petroleum products, while top imports to the UK from Ghana include cocoa, canned fish, fruit and vegetables, petroleum products, metal scrap and coffee.

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