The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has held a business investment forum in the Central Region to promote local indigenous businesses and drive investment to the region.
Participants including traditional authorities, businessmen and women and key staff of the various Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were enlightened on the role of GIPC and how to partner with them.
The forum was part of the Centre’s nationwide campaign on the theme “Grow in Ghana, Grow with Ghana,” designed to meet the local content requirement of its mandate to promote businesses.
The event sensitised individuals and businesses to the untapped economic opportunities in the region and facilitated synergies among the various stakeholders in the wake of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and in line with the region’s transformation agenda.
The Centre opened a mini-business clinic to provide support for people with viable business ideas.
Dr George Asafo-Agyei, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, GIPC identified agro-processing, manufacturing and tourism as key areas for investment and promotion in the region.
He said the region was endowed with lots of fruits that could be processed into various products to generate income and create jobs.
He, however, observed that the unavailability of lands and the issues of land litigation were major challenges stifling the economic growth of the region.
Dr Asafo-Agyei, therefore urged the traditional authorities and families to make lands available for investment and endeavour to take shares in such investments.
“Why can’t we make land available for some of these activities? When these things continue, we are depriving our own people of the employment they are in dire need of,” he stated.
Dr Asafo-Agyei said with the advent of AfCFTA, there was the need for the country to accelerate its industrialisation agenda or be found wanting when the policy was fully rolled out.
He said the Central Region had competitive advantage in many areas and could be the pillar if the right environment was created.
He further encouraged businesses to brace themselves for investment and partnerships because that was the trend for development.
Dr George Asafo-Agyei urged citizens to consume locally-made products to help stabilise the economy and generate wealth internally.
“We need to make sure our import substitution agenda is materialised. It is important we do it well and conscientise ourselves that the more we import, the more they become richer and the more our currency depreciates,” he cautioned.
He said even though it was not compulsory for Ghanaian-owned companies to register with GIPC, it was critical for them to do so to benefit from all the crucial services provided.
He observed that only 154 projects in the region had been registered with GIPC since 1994 and only four in the last three years, saying they were inadequate.
“It is important to register with GIPC because we provide a lot of incentives. Government is ready to support you. You do not struggle for your documents,” he revealed.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister urged all MMDAs to fashion out investment and development plans and clearly articulate them for the growth of their local business enterprises.
“The local businessmen and women are important, given the fact that their activities generate wealth for the MMDAs, the region and the country as a whole,” she stressed.
Touching on AfCFTA, she indicated that the policy created a major opportunity to help with the diversification of African exports, attract Foreign Direct Investment and accelerate growth as the world dealt with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said company profiles and project catalogue that would be derived from the GIPC’s business tour of the region would form the basis for meetings within the continent for “a unifying and rewarding trade relationships as well as partnerships.”
“One major output of this programme will be the Land Banks, District Investor Guides and Project Profiles. These are crucial tools to aid in the attraction of investments and make Ghana the preferred location for Foreign Direct Investments,” she added.
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