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19.02.2007 General News

Ghana investment climate applauded

By DAILYEXPRESS-Nii Kwaku Osabutey Anny

Despite Ghana's recognition as a good destination for business in Africa, a recent survey has shown that the country's wage level is way too low. The wage level, pegged at 47 has been described as being below average.

The 2005 Africa Foreign Investor Survey, the third such survey to be conducted in 15 sub-Saharan African countries found Ghana as an investment destination for up and coming multinationals or what the report described as stand-alone foreign entrepreneurs (FEs).

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) survey report assesses resource allocation for investment promotion on the continent, collation of data based on investor motivation, perception, performance and their impact on the domestic economy.

An official of UNIDO, Mithar Kulur, speaking at a day's forum organized with the support of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) acknowledged Ghana's improving investment climate which he said continues to attract more firms into the country.

A Deputy Minister of Trade Kwadwo Affram-Asiedu said it is now common knowledge that growth does not occur by chance but through a well crafted investment or growth agenda based on resource availability.

He said available statistics indicate that Foreign Direct Investment worldwide moved upward by 897 billion dollars in 2005 but Africa's share was less than two per cent.

The challenge, he said, is for African businesses to compete not only with those in Western Europe, but those from the Eastern bloc and Asia, who have exhibited high levels of growth in their business approach with the rest of the world.

Mr. Affram-Asiedu therefore called on African countries to do more to boost investor confidence as well as develop customized strategies for the different investor groups that intend to operate in the region.

The deputy trade minister also observed that major investments these days moved from North to North in the form of mergers, acquisitions and franchising and that those in developing countries were still not paying much attention to South-South cooperation.

The Chief Executive of the GIPC, Robert Ahomka-Lindsey on his part said the forum was also to afford stakeholders the opportunity to brainstorm on how to re-strategize to inform policy decision-making in attracting investors into the country.

The programme was attended by officals from the Trade Ministry, Foreign Affairs and trade related bodies.