Business News of Fri, 19 May 20170

Yofi Grant rails against protectionism, says incentives are what businesses need

The CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has said that incentives are what local businesses need and not a protectionist regime to shield them from foreign competition.

Speaking at the launch of the Ghana-Gulf Chamber of Commerce in Accra, on Wednesday, the GIPC boss said globally there are several opportunities that local businesses can take advantage of if they are given the right incentives.

The country, he argued, possesses some of the fundamental requirements needed to move the economy from its present status to a more prosperous and industrious one, like those created in the middle east region such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest.

“I have been to Dubai a couple of times and, anytime I return, I am more convinced that whatever happened in Dubai can happen in Ghana –a real transformation of a country that is poised for change. The political will is there… the wherewithal and energy are also present,” he said.

“We should move away from being protectionist to being incentivist. We should incentivise our own people to grow and take advantage of opportunities that emerge globally.”

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In the aftermath of Brexit and the emergence of economic nationalism in the US, he said, there is the need for Ghana to form new relationships that will allow it to realise its economic potential.

The Ghana Gulf Chamber, he said, is one of the means by which the country could seek such new partnerships that will help promote economic growth. Apart from engineering such business relationships, Mr. Grant stated that the GIPC is also pushing for reforms that will see the country emerge as one of the great places of doing business.

Such reforms, he explained, are tailored to reduce bottlenecks in routine business processes, which would improve the ease of doing business in the country.

In a speech read on his behalf, President of the Ghana Gulf Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Siaw Agyapong, said the Chamber will seek to put local businesses in contact with each other and with businesses in the gulf region.

Mr. Agyapong said the Chamber has the ambition of becoming the most influential among the various chambers of commerce in the country and would seek to do this by providing strong leadership as well as attracting valuable investments.

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“This Chamber will facilitate business relationships between Ghana and the Gulf. The success of this endeavor will be assured by our stellar record and the record that we wish to accomplish, moving forward, by organising events, services, as well as collaborative memberships.”

The Chamber, which is located at the World Trade Center in Accra, comprises of businesses from Ghana, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Qatar.

Its leadership includes Joseph Siaw Agyapong, President; Albert Ankrah, Executive Director; Kojo Dougan, Vice President; Prince Kofi Hanson, Communications Director; Juliana Kplorfia, Director, Protocol and Strategic Affairs; and Albert Afful, Treasurer.

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