Business News of 2014-01-29

Business strategy conference held in Accra

The Chief of Staff, Mr Douglas Prosper Bani, says President John Dramani Mahama is on top of the corruption challenge confronting the country and will fight the canker to the fullest.

He argued that the speed with which Mr Mahama instituted the investigations that led to the arrest and prosecution of persons cited in "the recent headline corruption case" was not known anywhere.

Speaking at the opening of the second Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference in Accra yesterday, Mr Bani said the President had set up mechanisms to unearth cases of corruption and deal with them.

Apart from that, the existing legal regime in the country was strong enough to deal swiftly with corruption, he added.

Purpose of the conference

Organised by the Africa Business Media, publishers of the Ghana Business and Finance magazine, the conference brought together politicians, business captains and organisations from Ghana and other parts of Africa, as well as Europe, Asia and North America.

It sought to give foreign investors an insight into the workings of the Ghanaian economy for them to explore the various avenues for investment.

The Chief of Staff, who represented the President at the opening ceremony, said the President's commitment to fight corruption, as well as opportunities created in the country, are an incentive for investment drive.

Consequently, he impressed on foreign investors to turn to Ghana where their investments would be protected.

Ghana's foreign outlook

The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, said the economic outlook for Ghana on the Africa and the global arenas was bright and all who were keen on investing were sure of their returns.

He said in spite of the initial challenges resulting from the power outages and the presidential election petition, the economy had been resilient, recording a respectable growth rate of seven per cent last year.

Mr Terkper said the government was working hard to improve infrastructure in the country, especially in the rural communities, to attract investors.

Haruna Iddrisu

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, reiterated that Ghana remained a favourite destination for foreign direct investment, as the government had established strong legal and regulatory mechanisms to protect investments.

“The Ghana we knew in 1995, has changed, since we now have the rule of law, social and political order that make the country to be a safe and secure investment destination in the sub-region,” he stated.

He added that Ghana currently had about GH¢2 billion deficit in infrastructure and that the government was looking for foreign investors to help improve infrastructure, particularly roads.

“The government has identified the Western Region as the hub of business opportunities because of its rich mineral potential and the discovery of oil which could be developed into a petro-chemical industry,” he added.

The leader of the visiting trade mission of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) of the USA, Mr Robert Perry, said the country could leverage its enormous economic potential to attract investors to help boost its infrastructure aspiration.

He indicated the need for more transparent procurement processes to increase investor confidence.

On making local content a viable initiative, he suggested the need for all stakeholders, including the universities, the government and the private sector, to dialogue on how best to implement and monitor the policy.

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