Business News of Mon, 11 Feb 20192

'More local investors show interest in economy' - Yofi Grant

Fresh Yofi Grant Gipc Yofi Grants, CEO, GIPC

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In spite of capital formation challenges, more home-grown investors are taking up investment opportunities in the economy, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has said.

GIPC, the agency entrusted with making the country sellable, said lately it has seen a rise in the number of Ghanaians knocking at its door for opportunities.

It said indigenous investors, just like foreign ones, are given the same incentives or, in some cases, more, contrary to views held by many that the centre only supports foreign businesses.

“What is happening lately is that we are recording a lot of indigenous investors coming to us,” GIPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Yofi Grant, told the B&FT in Accra.

Although Mr. Grant admitted that more needs to be done to support indigenous investors, he said there were numerous opportunities available for them to take advantage of.

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More importantly, he said it was imperative to make it easier for locals to do business and that it was GIPC’s goal to attract more home-grown investors.

“Although I concede that there is not a lot of capital formation domestically, there are still great opportunities, especially in the One District, One Factory and Planting for Food and Jobs initiatives, as well as in Tourism and ICT,” he indicated.

“What we want to do is to create an enabling environment where both foreign direct investments and indigenous direct investment play a key role in developing our country.”

On incentives available to Ghanaians, he said, “The incentives that we have are colour-blind; they are business incentives, so whether you are blue or white, when you invest in a sector like agriculture, the incentives apply to you.

The problem is that because we register foreign investors, everybody feels that we are only there for foreign investors. That is not true, if you want to benefit from the incentives that are given at GIPC, you have to register your business with GIPC.”

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According to Mr. Grant, the GIPC is hoping to register up to US$10 billion worth of investments in 2019, despite failing to achieve a similar target last year-round.

In 2017, the centre registered US$4.91 billion in investments from a US$5 billion target and although Mr. Grant said the 2018 figures were not immediately available, he added that they were encouraging.

“We are still setting a target of US$10 billion. The most important thing to acknowledge is that investment thrives on building relationships, so even when you show investors the opportunities, you constantly have to go after them to do the negotiations to make sure that they bring the funds in here to invest,” Mr. Grant noted.

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