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15.02.2007 General News

Ghana Is Preferred Investment Haven — Study

Ghana has been identified as the preferred investment destination among 15 African countries for small multinationals and foreign entrepreneurs (FEs), an Africa Foreign Investors Survey 2005 report has revealed.

According to the report, investors were satisfied with location factors such as investor-friendly incentives, and noted that they had been improved over the past three years.

This came to light when the Unit Chief of the Investment Promotion Unit in Vienna, Austria, Mr Mithat Kulur, presented the report at a stakeholders workshop on Africa Foreign Investor Survey 2005, in Accra.

The 2005 survey, the third in the series, was conducted between May and November 2005 in 15 sub-Saharan African countries.

Three thousand four hundred and eighty-four foreign investors were contacted and 1,216 valid responses were obtained. This year, the study will take a more in-depth look at some issues that came to light in the 2003 survey.

The report said the regional ECOWAS market was very important compared to other African countries.

However, it cited Ghana as having the second-lowest wage level of all countries surveyed, pegging its wage level at 47 per cent below the average wage level.

“Wage levels are “too low” and do not fully reflect the labour productivity, which is only 21 per cent lower than the average labour productivity of the sample,” the report said.

The report indicated that the proportion of North and South origin investors were close to even with 54 per cent North and 46 per cent South.

It said the value of total output of the firms in the sample was $15.7 billion, the total number employed was 379,000 and the total book value of all firms' assets was $19.6 billion.

A Deputy Minister of trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSI, Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, said the workshop was being held at a time that the governments of most African countries, including Ghana, were poised for accelerated growth after going through what was generally acknowledged to be a successful, macroeconomic stabilisation programme.

He said the challenges facing the continent in attracting foreign direct investment should serve as a motivating factor to “strive forward and pursue an aggressive and effective drive to attract investors.”

The Chairman of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr P. V. Obeng, said the centre was updating its investment strategy to attract more investors.

Story by Timothy Gobah