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Business News of Friday, 7 November 2014

Source: graphic.com

‘Take advantage of opportunities on global market’

The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Mr J. K. Siaw Agyepong, has stressed the need for Ghanaian entrepreneurs to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities on the international market.

That, he said, demanded that the Ghanaian private sector pool their synergies to mobilise the requisite capital to match up their counterparts from the developed world.

According to him, no indigenous company in its present form can provide the requisite counterpart funding most of the foreign firms demand for local partnerships.

Mr Agyepong was speaking in an interview after attending a number of business meetings organised by the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) during President John Dramani Mahama’s state visit to Norway.

Sharing his perspectives on the importance of the visit to Ghanaian businesses, Mr Agyepong described the visit as very relevant and commended President Mahama for including businessmen on his delegation to take advantage of private sector meetings.

He said the President, through such visits, was able to market the country in exposing its potentials to the foreign business community and it was incumbent on the local entrepreneurs to do the appropriate networking to expand their businesses.

Mr Agyepong, however, said there was a lot of disunity on the local business front, thereby allowing a lot of opportunities to go unexploited.

He said foreign businesses were looking for opportunities to expand in Africa because the continent had become the basket of business but said Ghana could only benefit if the businesses would unite and “stop thinking of small businesses owned by themselves or families and pool their resources with similar enterprises”.

Mr Agyepong said there were a lot of opportunities in the oil and gas sector but stated that because that sector was capital intensive, it would be difficult for Ghanaians to maximise the local content policy.

“We are doing very well in oil and gas but because it demands a lot of resources, we need to pool resources to take advantage of the local content policy. If we position ourselves very well, we can benefit from the oil and gas sector,” he said.

He described Norway as an open and transparent country to do business with, with local content at the heart of any venture.

For his part, the Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said there was a critically high interest in Ghana, stressing that “the interest in Ghana is fever-pitch”.

He said Ghana has most of the fundamentals for doing business in place – democracy, rule of law, strong independent institutions and an independent judiciary, quality of education, which positions Ghana for foreign direct investments.

That, he said, required that local businesses should team up and also learn to “pass the ball very fast to their colleagues” to take advantage of the foreign investments coming into the country.

Mr Spio-Garbrah said there were many Ghanaians who believed that they must have their own businesses but were not equipped for the task involved, and suggested that they pool their resources to take advantage of the opportunities.

“We need Ghanaian consortia to speak to the issues. They must join hands together,” he said.