President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday assured China’s business community of the safety of their investments in Ghana, urging them to make the country their preferred business destination in Africa.
“Ghana is a haven of peace, security and stability, and because she protects legitimate investments…and you should take advantage of the growing business a friendly climate in the country to invest in Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo gave that assurance when he addressed the Ghana-China Investment Forum in the Shangdong Province of China.
He told the Chinese business community that Ghana’s flagship agricultural programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, its renewable energy sector and ICT growth were all areas of considerable opportunity.
“These are all sectors you can profitably partner with Ghanaian companies, some of whose representatives have come all the way from Ghana to be here with me,” he said.
China has, since 2015, been Ghana’s largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to some $6.7 billion in 2017.
The President told the gathering that Ghana had taken the decision to “walk hand-in-hand with China and her business community, because we desire to walk far.”
However, with the majority of exports from Ghana to Shangdong, for example, being crude oil, bauxite and its concentrates, sawn timber, i.e. raw materials, the President told the Chinese business community that “we want to stop being mere producers and exporters of raw materials, and, thereby, deal with China, and, indeed, Shangdong province, on the basis of things we make.”
Thus, he recommended to Chinese business community his government’s flagship policy of “1-District-1-Factory”.
“Thus far, companies that have established factories in Ghana, under this policy, are importing machinery and equipment duty-free, are not paying import duty on raw materials imported for production, and are enjoying a corporate income tax holiday for five years,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that his administration was embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment to develop the country’s infrastructural deficit, particularly in the road and railways sectors.
“We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north, Burkina Faso, to the west, Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east, Togo.
“We believe that this is an area where Chinese technology and expertise would be very welcome, and we are happy to note that some important Chinese companies are, in fact, making efforts to enter the rail sector of our economy. We will know the result shortly, but I am confident that there will be Chinese participation in the development of the Ghanaian rail sector,” he said
The President informed the business community that there were several projects in roads, water, housing, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, the exploitation of Ghana’s mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, amongst others, which are being structured to attract private sector financing.
He urged them to invest in Ghana either through the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre or set up as a Free Zones enterprise.
“Regardless of where the investment is, government has instituted a number of incentives for the investor, depending on the nature of the activity, or the location of the investment,” the President added.
The incentives, included; exemption from payment of import duty for plant and machinery; 25 per cent tax rebate for companies located in regional capitals; 50 per cent tax rebate for companies investing outside regional capitals in the regions; and 0 per cent corporate tax for ten (10) years, and, thereafter, 8 per cent for companies in the Free Zones enclave.
“In future, when you are deciding to invest in any part of the world, certainly in Africa, Ghana should be your preferred investment destination,” the President told the Chinese business community.
“As I have said, we are keen on establishing a business-friendly economy to attract foreign direct investments to exploit our country’s great potential on mutually satisfactory terms. I can assure you, once again, that your investments will be protected in fact and in law.”