GFZB shares ideas with CzechInvest - Opens up to learn int. best practices

BY: Theophilus Yartey
Participants at the event
Participants at the event

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, says the board has positioned itself to learn about best practices from other international investment promotion agencies in the world.

He explained that in fulfilment of its mandate, the GFZB needed to be abreast of global investment trends and the flow of capital around investment destinations and develop the right partnerships to attract the needed strategic investments.

Mr Baafi was speaking to the Graphic Business after a delegation of the GFZB met with officials of CzechInvest, the investment promotion agency of the Czech Republic, last Monday to share insights into how to attract foreign direct investments around the world.

"It is important that we engage the agencies around the world with the proven track record of attracting massive foreign direct investments into their respective countries and learn from them.

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"We also believe that the knowledge sharing experiences also provide us with the opportunity to strengthen our institutional capacity," he explained.

He said after its first-ever investment promotion mission, the board would be undertaking very targeted investment missions to some parts of the world to attract the needed strategic investments.

Receiving the delegation, the Business Development Manager for the Life Sciences Sector of CzechInvest, Ms Hana Chlebna, indicated that the agency, since its establishment in 1993, had brought in 1,728 approved projects of a total value of $390 billion and generated 274,909 new jobs.

She said one of the critical success factors in attracting foreign direct investments was a solid infrastructure, adding that potential investors looked out for whether the country had a very good infrastructural base.

"Czech has the reputation of an industrial heritage; we also have good infrastructure and a highly skilled and competitive labour force, all of which give us competitive edge among other countries.

"To be able to attract foreign investors as a preferred foreign direct investment destination, the country must have a competitive edge in some sectors over other countries who are also looking to attract investments," she said.

Ms Chlebna advised that the GFZB should not direct investors to economically disadvantaged areas of Ghana to operate or invest but rather to the economically endowed areas, adding that Czech had to learn from past mistakes.

About CzechInvest

CzechInvest is an agency of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. Established in 1992, the agency contributes to attracting foreign investment and developing domestic companies through its services and development programmes.

The agency also promotes the Czech Republic abroad and acts as an intermediary between the European Union (EU) and small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing structural funds in the Czech Republic.

CzechInvest is exclusively authorised to file applications for investment incentives at the competent governing bodies and prepares draft offers to grant investment incentives.

Its task is also to provide potential investors with current data and information on business climate, investment environment and investment opportunities in the Czech Republic.