President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday assured the United Kingdom that the on-going BREXIT negotiations would not affect trade and investment cooperation between Britain and Ghana.
He therefore urged UK’s business community to leverage on the growing business-friendly climate in the country to invest in Ghana.
“Even though we are, understandably, anxious about the nature of the consequences of BREXIT, we are expectant that the outcome of the negotiations, contrary to the negative opinions of some so-called economic experts, will not disturb our solid trade co-operation with the UK,” he said.
Speaking at the Third UK-Ghana Investment Summit in Accra, the President said the BREXIT presented new opportunities and significant gains for both nations in furtherance on the vision of a “Ghana beyond Aid” and “I want us, together, to build a stronger Ghana-UK investment relationship, to the benefit of our respective shareholders.”
With Ghana poised to play a vanguard role in the new struggle for economic development for Africa’s 1.2 billion people, he noted that the prospects for Ghana’s, and, indeed, Africa’s development in the 21st century are immense, thus, “British participation in that development would be very welcome.”
The Summit, organised by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Department for International Development, created the platform to facilitate increased bilateral trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Ghana across all sectors of the economy.
The 2108 Accra meeting builds on the work done in the last two Summits held the UK.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the proposed Continental Free Trade Area, “which, I am confident, will be a reality soon, provides another dimension that should enhance dramatically the possibilities of collaboration between British and Ghanaian enterprises, in exploiting trade and investment opportunities.”
“Today, Africa is a market of some 1.2 billion people. By 2035, it will be 2 billion, the biggest market in the world…Ghana is ready for business. Join us. Be part of this new, exciting and profitable phase.
“Ghana has good human capital, and our economy has great possibilities for accelerated growth and job creation,” he stated.
The President pushed further the raft of policy initiatives undertaken by his administration to put the Ghanaian economy on a sound footing, with recent economic indicators pointing to the country beating a positive fiscal path.
“A growth rate of 8.5% in 2017, likely to be repeated this year, up from 3.6 per cent in 2016, the attainment of single digit inflation, a relatively stable currency despite the challenges of a strong dollar, reduction of lending rates, and the implementation of policies such as the paperless port system, e-business registration system, and the mobile interoperability system, which are helping to formalise the Ghanaian economy, lowering the cost of doing business and cutting down excessive bureaucracy, are examples of some of the steps being taken to revive the Ghanaian economy.”
“Additionally, a number of taxes that were crushing businesses and business owners, have either been abolished or reduced. We do all of this because there is a government in place that believes in the primacy of the private sector, and is working to enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies cannot just survive, but actually thrive.
“There is a government in place that believes in market principles and welcomes investors who want to work to promote the same and help build our economy. And, above all, there is a government in place that is genuinely looking out for the interests of its people.
President Akufo-Addo said with global car manufacturing giants, Volkswagen of Germany and Sinotruk of China; and energy giants, ExxonMobil of the United States of America and Norway’s Aker Energy, as well as tech giant, Google, signalling their intentions of establishing bases in Ghana, “I believe it is for good reason…It is an exciting time to be in Ghana and to do business in the country.”
He recommended that the British business community invest in government’s flagship policies of “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam”, and the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, as well as in other areas like water, health, housing, road and rail infrastructure, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, the exploitation of mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, renewable energy and ICT growth.