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26.02.2009 Business & Finance

IFC and GIPC Support Leasing to help Smaller Businesses Gain Financing

By IFC Ghana

Accra, Ghana, February 25, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it will work with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, government, key regulators, and the private sector to promote leasing as an alternative source of financing for smaller businesses.

GIPC and IFC will bring together policy makers, industry leaders, leasing companies, small and medium enterprises, financiers and key regulators to discuss policy issues and opportunities associated with leasing. The Ghana Leasing Forum, which will be held today and Thursday at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, will be attended by investors in seven key sectors of Ghana's economy: petroleum and mining services, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture and agri-business, information and communications technology, manufacturing, and financial services.

“The Ghana Leasing Forum will explore issues such as new sources of leasing equipment, which sectors and industries stand to benefit, policy issues, and corporate strategies to help investors,” said Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, CEO of GIPC. “It will emphasize new opportunities and challenges for investors, evolution of global value chains and business linkages, and how local entrepreneurs can benefit.”

IFC's research shows that Ghana's leasing industry is rapidly expanding. Between 2006 and 2007, the value of new leases in Ghana increased from nearly $31.5 million to over $93 million, while the number of new lease contracts signed increased from 536 to 1,381.

“Leasing is an important tool for smaller businesses that often do not have the track record, collateral, or expertise to obtain term financing from banks,” said Imoni Akpofure, IFC Country Manager in Ghana. “The Ghana Leasing Forum will create an opportunity for regulators and private businesses to come together to discuss how to better support this important sector.”

Since 2006, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs has been supporting IFC's work to promote leasing in Ghana through the SECO IFC Leasing Program.

“This forum is useful to enhance policy discussions and decisions, raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in leasing as a financial instrument, and bring together industry players for mutual benefit,” said Nicolas Lang, Switzerland's Ambassador to Ghana.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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