...than now - JAK Accra, Nov. 5, GNA - There has never been a better time for investing in the country than now, President John Agyekum Kufuor, has declared. He said it was not only safe but, profitable for both potential Ghanaians abroad and foreign investors to put their money into business in Ghana. President Kufuor was inaugurating an ultra modern one-stop shopping mall at East Legon in Accra on Saturday. The A and C Shopping Mall is a fruit, borne out of the Home Coming Summit organised by the Government. President Kufuor said it has been the policy of his administration to develop the private sector in order to generate employment, create wealth and reduce poverty. He said it was for this reason that macro-economic policies, including strict financial management, the adoption of HIPC, rationalisation of the prices of utilities and the deregulation of the petroleum sector, have all aimed at creating an enabling environment to support the growth of the private sector.
"The process has been challenging but the unfolding results are positive. Inflation is lowering steadily making planning possible, there is ready access to cheaper credit for businesses and individuals and the Cedi is relatively stable against major foreign currencies." President Kufuor said, in addition, the international community was acknowledging the country's successes with a lot of goodwill. The establishment of the shopping mall, he said, was yet another evidence that the emerging private sector was responding positively to government policies.
He hoped the A and C Shopping Mall would help to generate investor interest in the one-stop shopping concept and lead to the establishment of shopping malls in other suburbs of Accra and elsewhere in the country.
Such a trend, he said, could help reduce traffic congestion significantly within the metropolis whilst generating additional employment.
President Kufuor advised the tenants in the mall to meet their tax obligations and safeguard its international image through strict observance of environmental sanitary regulations in accordance with world standards.
Mr Allan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, said the initiative was in tandem with the National Trade Policy designed to improve trade and distribution infrastructure.
He said the re-emergence of shopping malls was indicative of the improvements of the economy.
He asked the management to ensure that they went through the necessary regulations.
Mr Andy K. Asamoah, the Executive Chairman of the Mall, said it was with much trepidation when they took the decision to go into the business taking into account the horror stories they heard from friends who tried setting up businesses back home in Africa. He said their fears were, however, allayed when they attended the Home Coming Summit, adding, "I sensed that the Government genuinely wanted to pursue policies that would create the enabling environment for investors."