Gov't, GIPC remains focused on making businesses thrive – Deputy GIPC CEO

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli II Contributor
Business & Finance Gov't, GIPC remains focused on making businesses thrive – Deputy GIPC CEO

The Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) has reaffirmed the government's commitment to creating a conducive environment for foreign and local investors to thrive in Ghana.

Speaking in an interview with the press at the Customs Controls and Regulations Forum held at the GIPC conference room in Accra, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mr. Yaw Afriyie emphasized the need for a balanced approach to taxation, urging the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to be modest in its demands on compliant businesses.

According to Mr. Afriyie, the GIPC is working to address bottlenecks in the business landscape, including over-invoicing and technology transfer agreements. He highlighted the importance of broadening the tax base without being punitive, citing the low tax-to-GDP ratio in Ghana.

Mr. Afriyie also stressed the need for education and capacity building for local SMEs to access exemptions and grow their businesses.

"The private sector is the engine of growth, and we must create an enabling environment for them to thrive," Mr. Afriyie said. "We need to strike a balance between revenue generation and business growth. We cannot tax our way to prosperity; we need to invest in our people and our infrastructure."

The forum, organized by the GIPC, brought together stakeholders from the private sector, regulatory bodies, and government agencies to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the investment landscape. Participants called for a more streamlined and efficient regulatory environment, citing the need for better coordination among government agencies and fewer bureaucratic hurdles.

On his part the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) Dr. Joseph Obeng, raised the alarm on the devastating impact of counterfeit goods, over-invoicing, and under-invoicing on their business.

Lamenting, the proliferation of substandard goods, which he attributed to the lack of education among consumers and the unfair advantage given to foreign traders.

He emphasized that the situation is dire, with over 80% of Ghanaian consumers prioritizing cheap prices over quality, and local manufacturers struggling to compete with subsidized goods from China.

Dr. Obeng also criticized the abuse of rules of origin and the dumping of goods, which he believes is crippling the local market.

"We have the China mall, who are taking over 40% of our market and who are delaying the efforts of local manufacturers. And we do not have the courage to claim a complaint. All that they do is to have their subsidized goods being dumped in Ghana and they go to the black market and then take the money away and destroy our economy," he said.

Furthermore, he highlighted the issue of over-invoicing and under-invoicing, which he claims is perpetuated by foreign direct investors to repatriate more profits and evade taxes. Dr. Obeng argued that this practice has a significant impact on Ghana's producers and urged policymakers to address the issue.

He concluded by emphasizing the need for affordability and simplicity in tax payments to enhance revenue and promote compliance.

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