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Business News of Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

GIPC dismisses relocation of businesses to Ivory Coast reports

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has dismissed reports of indigenous businesses relocating to Ivory Coast.

According to the GIPC, available statistics available to it does not reflect any such movement.

There have been recent reports of some local and foreign businesses relocating to neighboring Ivory Coast following Ghana’s economic challenges as well as tax regime.

Relocation reports

Labor analyst, Austin Gammey, early this year asserted that Ghanaian businesses were relocating to Ivory Coast as they could no longer withstand the pressures from the cedi depreciation, high cost of power as well as high interest rates.

According to him, the increasing labour agitations have also compelled businesses to take such decision.

Earlier some importers at the Tema port also disclosed to Citi Business News some businesses have been compelled to relocate to neighboring Cote d’Ivoire due to the high taxes and charges imposed on their operations at Ghana’s ports.

In an exclusive interview with Citi Business News however, the Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Mawuena Trebah maintained that no Ghanaian business has relocated yet to Ivory Coast.

“Every business that sets up in the country is required by law to register with the GIPC. But beyond the registration there is the monitoring and evaluation team.
They are required to follow through with the investors so it’s not just a matter of registering and then you go off and do something else.

So it is the statistics from our monitoring and evaluation team including what the business communities send to us again by law.

Every quarter they are required to report to us on how they are progressing with their investments. None of our statistics show that any of the companies’ that we registered have relocated or has left the country”, she said.

AGI yet to see any of its members relocate

Earlier the Association of Ghana Industry (AGI) told Citi Business News it is yet to confirm suggestions that some of its members have relocated to Cote D’Ivoire in a bid to avoid the economic pressures currently confronting them in Ghana.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Seth Twum Akwaboah told Citi Business News, undertaking such a move, will largely depend on the individual businesses.

“It is not that simple to just move out because a particular issue is hitting you; it takes a very long term planning before you can do so.

For example if you have put up a factory here (Ghana) and you have the machines and everything installed, you can’t overnight say because of the challenges you are moving to another country, it doesn’t work out so easily.

But then if the situation persists for too long such that the company makes too much losses consistently and they can’t no longer cope with it, then they have no choice to close down or move to another country.” Mr. Akwaboah stated.

Way forward

The business operators were reported to have argued that the move will shield them from power issues, high taxes, unstable currency, among other issues that prevented them from making profit.

Mawuena Trebah tells Citi Business News her outfit together with others institution are working towards facilitating a better environment for businesses to thrive.

“Everybody agrees we have had issues with power, we have had issues with access to utility, and there have been a number of challenges with land access.

But these are not new issues. Our job as a center is to make sure that we can facilitate the process and make it easier and work very closely with our sister institutions.
So you will see that institutions like the Registrar General’s, the Ghana Revenue Authority, various investment promoting related agencies are introducing new technology to try and create more efficiency”.

She added that ““We also need to look at what we have been targeting as a country and I think the first measure of accessing our performance will probably be the Africa competitiveness report of 2015.

On that score Ghana ranked 111 versus our coast compatriots from Ivory Coast 115, versus Nigeria which has 127. So comparatively if you look within the West African context, we are trying to ensure that within the continental scope, Ghana is still seen as an interesting place to do business and on average over the last four year period, we have been in excess of $4 billion per annum”.