Business News of Monday, 17 July 2017
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has begun a series of stakeholder engagements with key state institutions in a bid to solicit their views on aspects of the GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865) that requires review.
The initiative is geared towards reducing the ease of doing business in the country while providing more opportunities for Ghanaian investors to take advantage of the reforms within the economy.
Addressing the media before the commencement of the first day closed-door session in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, said:
“It is the intention of the government to create a private sector-led economy and that is why we want to make the business environment not only friendly and conducive for foreigners but for our own people here in Ghana.”
According to him, there were sections within the Act that might require review to make that agenda possible, urging the participants to be candid with their opinions to enable the government to take immediate steps to address them.
“We want to create billionaires in Ghana because we have the potential; all we need is to create an environment that will enable such persons to emerge and contribute their quota to the accelerated development of the country,” he stated.
Mr Grant mentioned countries such as Mauritius and Rwanda which reformed their economies and made it easy for indigenes and foreigners to do business without stress.
“Today, those countries are reaping the benefits of such reforms and once we also intend to be the business hub in the sub-region and Africa in general, we also need to do what is right to make that objective a reality,” he said.
Mr Grant noted for instance, that the quest to create a one-stop-shop where all the relevant agencies involved with taxation, immigration, business registration, among other things, would be under one umbrella with information technology systems linked up to ensure easy processing of documents.
He also mentioned the port system where the clearing of goods had become a nightmare and noted that the reasons for that were not acceptable and needed to be changed.
“In some countries, I know goods are cleared from the ports within eight hours and so why can’t we do even 24 hours?” he asked.
He said the government was keen on making the private sector lead the growth in the economy “and we demonstrated this when the 2017 budget statement was read in Parliament”.
According to him, about 15 taxes, described as nuisance taxes, were dropped to create financial space for private sector businesses to revamp their operations.
Mr Grant said that bold step, which returned more than GH¢1 billion to businesses, should send a clear signal to the public about the intention of the government to make things work in the private sector to enable players there to create jobs for the people and wealth for themselves and the country.
“We do not want to rush into doing something which does not involve the players; hence the forum and, therefore, I expect you to think deep to voice out the issues so we as government can do what will be of benefit to the entire country,” he added.