Ghana's economic future looks positive as 31 envoys have assured of their preparedness to woo top businessmen from their respective countries to invest in the country in order to expand the economy and create wealth for the people.
Virtually all the ambassadors, who attended the World Meets Ghana Investors’ Forum and Executive Dinner Ball at the Golden Tulip Kumasi City and the Manhyia Palace, respectively, promised to use their revered positions to help boost Ghana’s economy.
The historic programme, which had international touch, was organised to honour the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as part of activities marking his 20 years of excellent leadership upon his ascension on the Golden Stool of Asanteman.
Envoys from the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, India, Netherlands, France, Turkey, Japan, Zambia, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire and Niger, just to mention a few, were there to make the two-day, forum memorable.
The programme was organised by the E ON 3 Group, headed by young Ghanaian entrepreneur, Richard Ofori Atta, affectionately known in business circles as ‘Tom, Tom’ and the Manhyia Palace, the official seat of the Asante King.
During the two days, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta and top businessmen from Ghana and abroad, sat under one roof as they brainstormed about what is needed to be done to help accelerate national growth, especially the business sector.
Ghana need bridges
Group Executive Chairman of GBSH Consult Group Worldwide, Ambassador Prof. Tal Edgars, who was the keynote speaker, said Ghana is currently well positioned to develop at a lightning speed, stressing the need for the state to work to attract more investors.
Prof. Edgars also tasked leaders of the country to put more energy into marketing the business opportunities that abound in the country to the world so that businessmen from all over the globe would travel to Ghana and invest in shovel ready opportunities that drive into the Ghanaian economy to create wealth.
“So far, from geographical wealth, Ghana needs to give a compelling narrative to the world,” the famous public speaker, remarked and asked “Is it Ghana’s time?” and “Are we building more walls instead of bridges?”
Calls for quality FDI
According to him, “Progress in developing countries can be achieved without either substantial levels of protection and large amounts of direct support, but through focusing on quality Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Foreign Institutional Investments (FII) and non-resident Ghanaian investment,” adding, there is hope for Ghana.
In this regard, the international speaker, implored countries like Ghana to focus on proper strategies that would enable to them attract FDI’s so that their countries would become strong economically in order to rub shoulders equally with developed countries.
Again, he also recommended for the immediate “setting up of an Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) to target foreign investors and serve as a link between them and domestic economy, adding “provide access to credit by reforming domestic financial markets.”
Ambassador Prof. Tal Edgars also suggested to Ghana to implement policies such as “open markets to allow FDI inflows; reduce restrictions on FDIs and provide open, transparent and dependable conditions for all kinds of firms, whether foreign or domestic to attract FDI”.
Bright Future for Ghana
He predicted that Ghana would soon emerge as a mighty economic force in the world in the next 10 to 20 years time, saying “Ghana’s tax code is replete with tax concessions that considerably reduce the effective tax rate for both foreign and local firms.”
“Just purely looking at the demographic trends and the recent policies would merit a certain allowance of belief that for the next 10-20 years, Ghana could be, and one could argue, should be, a productive, sustainable investment return economy, at a time when the rest of the world is regressing”.
Ambassador Tal Edgars admonished Ghanaians to be patriotic by sacrificing for the state by doing away with all forms of illegal practices, notably corruption, which has the potential of drawing the country back from the path of growth and prosperity.
Quoting from a famous Ghanaian patriotic song ‘Yɛn Ara Asaase Ni’, he said “Whether or not this nation prospers, clearly depends on the character of the citizens of the nation,” warning “This idea of theft and corruption in accordance with the law, is what we must deal against,”
He entreated the citizenry to love, cherish and work tirelessly to transform the country at all times, stating categorically that “We must attend to Ghana in earnest,” attracting applause from the crowd, which included top dignitaries.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, described the government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ policy as one of the ambitious policies that the country has adopted in recent times, calling for active support from Ghanaians and the international community for the positive programme to succeed.
“It is in this vein that we have welcomed the vision of the president for Ghana Beyond Aid. It is not a vision for the faint-hearted. It is bold. It is brave. But it is a vision that deserves support, not only from Ghanaians but from all her friends across the globe”, the Asante King said.
He noted “the economy may not have performed to the optimum of expectations but even with all the shifts and turns on the political landscape, it has remained relatively resilient. It tells you that we have what it takes to break the mold of dependency and achieve the goal our leaders have set for us.”
Otumfuo appealed to foreign investors to do business in the manufacturing sector of the state so as to help provide jobs for the unemployed and also expand Ghana’s economy, adding that the mass importation of food into the shops and shopping malls is not helping the Ghana currency so it must be checked.
According to him, Ghana boasts of vast fertile lands, especially in the Sekyere Afram Plains, that can be used for farming to help the country to become the main supplier of food in the West African sub-region, assuring of his support for any genuine potential investor.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, speaking during the Investors’ Forum, enumerated the numerous positive policies that government had implemented within its short stay in political office to improve the economy and also attract investors to do business in the country.
On his part, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, highlighted the key areas that businessmen can invest in the Ashanti region and make profit in return. He said the region is fertile for all forms of businesses, especially the agricultural sector.