By Yinka Kolawole
Nigerian businesses account for about 60 percent of foreign investment in Ghana, aided by the enabling investment climate of the West African country.
Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr. Edward Ashong-Lartey, stated this last week, in Lagos, at a forum to announce the forthcoming 2010 International Business Events Management (IBEM) conference billed for Ghana in March.
GIPC is a one-stop government agency, in the office of the Ghanaian Presidency, that facilitates and supports local and foreign investors in both the manufacturing and services sectors of Ghana.
According to him, the level of Nigerian investment in Ghana is very high, especially with the entrance of communications giant, Globacom, along with some other companies, into the country, adding that the Ghanaian officials to discuss possible areas of further collaboration with Nigerian investors and the kind of incentives that will promote investment and business relations between both countries, ahead of the IBEM conference.
Ashong-Lartey noted that the forthcoming event with the theme: â€œInvesting and Growing Your Business in Ghana – Challenges and Opportunitiesâ€, is aimed at enabling investors both in Africa and other continents to harness the business opportunities that are abound in Ghana, adding that the interest on Nigeria is borne out of the fact that she has the experience in manpower and technical capacity that are believed would be relevant to Ghana to develop its nascent sectors, especially oil and gas. â€œTalk about the population, the land mass, abundant natural resources, technocrats and so on. Already, Nigeria is seriously playing active role in Ghanaâ€™s economy,â€ he stated.
He said that GIPC sees investment opportunities for Nigerians in agriculture and agro-processing; fish processing; sports, Leisure and Infrastructure; transport; infrastructure, power and tele-communications, among others.
â€œGovernment would harness the opportunity that abound in the discovery of and exploration of oil in the country to woo and encourage would-be investors. All expectations of investors are assured and would not be dashed,â€ he stated.
The Ghanaian government official,Â however, acknowledged that the country was currently experiencing some challenges in the areas of security, high interest rates, bank charges and inadequate power generation (at 1,850-mega watts) that may discourage investors, but noted that the government was working seriously on ways to address the issues. He said, for instance, that about six foreign companies have indicated interest to use gas to produce energy with the hope of boosting the power supply before the end of 2010, adding that tax holidays were being considered for some sectors and tourists just to create conducive environment for investors in the country.
Targets participants for the forthcoming conference, according to Ashong-Lartey, include manufacturers in Europe, America, UK, Asia and Africa; local and foreign investors, chambers of commerce and industry, regional and multinational corporate bodies, oil and gas companies, banks and financial institutions.