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GFZB attracts $790m investments

BY: Arku Jasmine

Haruna Iddrisu -Trade and Industry MinisterThe Ghana Free Zone Board (GFZB) has attracted about $790 million worth of proposed capital investments for the first eight months of the year. The investments cover 23 new free zone companies in the country, with a projected 31,000 direct jobs to be created by the investment projects.
The Head of Investor Support Services at the GFZB, Hajia Hanatu Abubakar-Bimi, who disclosed this at a news briefing in Accra, said the investments included $540 million that a British company, Lonrho, had invested in the establishment of a free port complex at Atuabo in the Western Region.

She said the project, which had created about 300 jobs, was made possible due to the political stability the country had continued to enjoy for sometime now.

“Apart from the incentives that we give to potential investors, what makes investors troop into the country is that Ghana is touted as a beacon of hope for Africa. There is always peace and stability in the country and that is our selling point,” she said.

At the recent African Global Economic and Development (AGED) Summit, she said two companies expressed interest in establishing oil and gas and shea-butter companies in Ghana.

The purpose of the AGED Summit was to promote bilateral foreign direct investment, international trade, cultural exchange and tourism among the 54 African countries. Delegates from the United States, Asia, Africa and the African Diaspora, representing political and social organisations, businesses,  investment groups, the arts and cultural associations, education, international trade and tourism attended the summit.

The GFZB currently has four established enclaves located in Tema, Kumasi, Sekondi and at Shama.

The Tema Export Processing Zone, with a total area of 1,200 acres, offers investors a favourable and conducive environment for manufacturing, service and commercial export activities. Business processing is facilitated by the deliberate convergence of all front-line export/investment promotion institutions such as the Customs Division, the Police Service, the immigration service, the environmental protection Agency and the Domestic Tax Division into a one-stop shop.

The Shama land bank, the 3200-acre enclave, is good for its strategic sea-front location. The GFZB intends to provide investment support in downstream refinery, distribution, and transit and supply chain business services, including dominant operators in chemical production, as well as manufacturing of by-products like plastics and jellies provided they are intended for export.

The Sekondi Export Processing Zone provides a good location for manufacturing and dealers in the by-products and accessories produced by those industries and may not necessarily require a sea-front property for their export-oriented operations.

The Ashanti technology park is to evolve into a multipurpose export processing zone where opportunities abound for investment in water production and distribution, electricity generation from thermal and biomass plants, telecommunications infrastructure and accessories manufacturing.

Daily Graphic/Ghana