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31.12.2004 Business & Finance

GIPC to establish contact points to harness local investment potential

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Accra, Dec. 31, GNA - The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is to establish regional contact points to harness the huge untapped local investment potentials to facilitate the growth of indigenous entrepreneurs.

Mr Kwesi Abeasi, Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, who made this known at a symposium on: "Private Sector Growth and Accelerated Wealth Creation" in Accra on Friday, said a pilot programme the Centre carried out in the regions revealed the economic potential of these areas. The symposium was part of the 56th New Year School being organized by the Institute of Adult Education of the University of Ghana at the University Campus at Legon.

Mr Abeasi expressed the need to support local entrepreneurs with access to credit and land to reduce the cost of doing business. He said the GIPC was establishing a one-stop investment shop to improve on its services to potential investors. Mr Abeasi said the innovation, which started three years ago in collaboration with Custom, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Ghana Immigration Service, would streamline the administrative bottlenecks such as the strenuous bureaucracy associated with the registration of businesses.

"We have to treat the investor as a client and instead of the investor running around, we have to do the running around." He suggested to the Government to remove duties on the importation of equipment and machinery to send the right signals to potential investors.

Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of the Private Enterprise Foundation, stressed the need for the Government to nurture local enterprises to become technologically modern and self-sufficient with the ability to grow.

He said access of entrepreneurs to water; electricity and telephone facilities should be made paramount to ensure efficient production and wealth creation.

He said the UN had declared 2005 the year of micro-credit hence the need for Ghana to make the vision possible.

Dr Boeh-Ocansey noted that 88 per cent of entrepreneurs in the informal sector had not registered their businesses, 80 per cent had no commitment to their work since they were engaged in other jobs while 88 per cent had only primary or no formal education.

Dr (Mrs) Adelaide Kastner, Head of the Department of Marketing of the University of Ghana Business School, who chaired the symposium, appealed to traditional rulers to streamline the process of land acquisition to facilitate the establishment of private businesses. She also called for harmonization of private entrepreneurial activities to promote access to finance.

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