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14.11.2008 Business & Finance

Investors' Advisory Council meets

By The Statesman

Report of the 8th Ghana Investors' Advisory Council records indicates that Ghana is the first West African sovereign state to enter the international bond market, selling a benchmark issue to raise $750m.

According to the council, Ghana has also been ranked 87th out of the 181 countries ranked in Doing Business 2009, as compared to 82 out of 178 countries for Doing Business 2008, due to its ease of conducting business, registering property and protecting investors in ECOWAS.

The reports, which measure business regulations per country, are issued annually by the World Bank.

At the meeting, held in Akosombo recently, the Minister of Trade and Industry PSD/PSI, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, indicated that through the GIAC dialogue mechanism, the pulse of the investor community is taken and related to measures that can be introduced by sector ministries to further enhance the climate for doing business in Ghana, in order to transform the country into a preferred investment destination.

The Minister noted that at the initial meeting of GIAC in May 2002, members identified five issues which had made Ghana relatively uncompetitive in attracting domestic and foreign direct investment

 These issues were Financial Sector Reforms, Labour Reforms, Customs/Civil Service Reforms, Land Reforms and Agricultural/Agric-business.

In this year"s meeting, developmental issues like Energy, Communications and Ports, Harbours and Railways were discussed.

The meeting also offered an opportunity for farewell and congratulatory messages to be exchanged between GIAC members and President John Kufuor, who was the chairman at the meeting.

The government of Ghana was commended for implementing pro-business reforms like the National Medium-Term Private Sector Development Strategy, the Trade Sector Support Programme, the Land Administration Project, the Financial Sector Strategic Plan, Port Rehabilitation Programme, the retro-fitted Gateway Project and the Public Sector Reform Programme which have simplified and reduced the time and cost for business registration.        

President Kufuor also wishes the GIAC members well since this meeting happens to be his last term in office.