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06.11.2007 Business & Finance

Investment In Trading-Investment Centre To Raise The Bar

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre has presented a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for the upward review of the minimum requirement for investors in the trading sector of the economy from the present $300,000 to $1 million.

The proposal, if approved, would require investors in that category to provide $1 million cash investment.

At a press conference in Accra on Friday, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mr Robert Ahomkah-Lindsay, said the direction was to scale up investors with high quality capital into the trading sector.

He said contrary to public perception, the law did not bar any investor from the trading sector, adding that what the law required was investors who had capital of $300,000 in cash or in goods.

Mr Ahomkah-Lindsay stated that the law also prohibited such investors from trading on the local markets.

He conceded that the monitoring role of the GIPC had not been efficient as should have been the case but stressed that every effort was being made to enforce the law to the letter.

The GIPC Chief executive said the centre was threading cautiously to ensure that its actions would not send a wrong signal to investors.

Breifing the press on the quartely results of investment coming into the country, the CEO stated that a total of GH¢880 million (¢8.8 trillion) with GH¢851 million (¢8.51 trillion) new re-investments and GH¢29 million (¢290 billion) of initial equity transfer.

That, he said, compared favourably with GH¢561 million new investments for the same period last year.

He said for the third quarter (from July to September, this year) however, a total of GH¢340.7 million (¢3.407 trillion) worth of investment was attracted into the country as compared to GH¢110.87 million (¢1.108 trillion) recorded for the same period last year.

Mr Ahomka-Lindsay stated that the investments were made up of 80 new projects, with manufacturing industries accounting for 22; the service sector nine; tourism, eight; and building and construction five.

The agriculture sector saw six investments; export trade attracted four investments; and the general trading accounted for 26 projects.

The CEO stated that 60.6 per cent of projects were fully owned by foreign investors with a value of GH¢165 million (¢1.65 trillion), while 39.4 per cent were joint ventures with Ghanaians with a value of GH¢10 million (¢100 billion).

He said the main sources of FDI were from China, India, UK, Germany, India, but South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria and Benin were also making inroads into Ghana's investment landscape.

Mr Ahomkah-Lindsay stated that the centre was embarking on new reforms to ensure effective monitoring of projects, through a multi agency task force and also to review the quota system as a tool for FDI attraction.

He said the reforms would also include duty exemptions, which was being critically looked at to ensure that companies paid the approriate taxes.

The CEO added a possible introduction of alternative incentives for re-investments in the area of capital allowance, tax relief for recruitment and staff advancement of Ghanaians.

He called on Ghanaian companies to register with the centre to enable the centre to provide better services for them and also create a database of Ghanaian companies to determine the sectors they operated in and the level of employment.

— Story by Boahene Asamoah