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Business News of Friday, 24 February 2017

Source: B&FT

Investors flood GIPC over one-district, one-factory – Yofi Grant

Investors have been inundating the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) with enquiries about the prospects of investing in government’s proposed establishment of a factory in each of the 216 districts in the country, Yofi Grant, CEO of GIPC has said.

Mr. Grant, who took office beginning of this month, told the B&FT in an interview that: “The one-district, one-factory content has sparked very interesting discussions and interests from investors both here and abroad.”

“There are a lot of people who are now asking questions about what they can do, where they can find information about what is available in the districts in terms of raw materials. Some, too, are asking about demographics. Some are also asking about incentives that might be available to investors once they invest in the rural areas etc.” the GIPC CEO said.

To ensure businesses thrive under his administration, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has continuously assured that there will be a rationalisation of the tax regime with the aim of reducing the tax burden on businesses to drive growth.

According to Mr. Grant, the government’s pro-business approach should play a key role in drawing businesses to Ghana in the midst of the competition for investors’ funds.

“First of all, as a government, we are looking at significant review of our tax laws and at our tax regime to see which taxes can be taken off. For instance, why should somebody who wants to establish a factory in Ghana have his raw materials stuck at the port while the finished product of the same commodity is imported into the country tax-free? This doesn’t make our local manufacturing capacity worthwhile. So we need to have a review of all these things such that you can bring in raw materials and then you can manufacture,” he said.

Mr. Grant said the goal of the GIPC, under his tenure, will be to make the country the preferred investment destination on the continent.

“Today’s investment opportunities are globally competitive and it is up to you, as a country, to make your own environment competitive in order to bring in investments. The investor looks at these things and compares destinations, regarding where he can put his money and take it back safely at the least possible cost. So, you might have an investor looking at country A or B and will compare them along these parameters.

But we have seen over the past few years is that, a lot of countries are now getting themselves well-positioned to attract investment by reducing the front-end cost of investors and putting it on the back-end. We also need to look at this comprehensively,” Mr. Grant said.

Help Desk

As part of moves to ease the bottlenecks investors face in trying to register and establish businesses, Mr. Grant said the GIPC will set-up a comprehensive help-desk that will serve the needs of the investing public 24/7.

“In today’s world, information and access to information must be brisk, sharp and quick. The world, as we know it, is operating in different time zones, so you must offer an office that is opened 24/7 that people can lodge their complaints and can get responses to them as soon as possible.

So, social media is going to be one of such platforms and then technology in general is going to be one of the platforms that we are going to use to access all these complaints and respond to them adequately, both internally and externally. But we are also going to set-up a special office that will deal with that.”