Mr Yofi Grant (2nd right) with Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso (4th right) and other dignitaries after the event
Mr Yofi Grant (2nd right) with Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso (4th right) and other dignitaries after the event

New minimum capital won’t scare investors — Yofi Grant

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, has said the GH¢400 million new minimum capital for banks will not scare investors away but will rather repose confidence in the economy.

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He explained that the rise in the minimum capital would also help banks get the financial strength to be able to fund some of the big ticket projects on the government’s development agenda and that of the private sector.

“Most of the foreign investors I have spoken to says that this development is not uncommon to them and it is a development which will help post confidence in the economy,” Mr Grant said this to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on the sidelines of a conference on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) on Tuesday, September 12, in Accra.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) last week directed banks in the country to recapitalise to GH¢400 million, equivalent to about US$100 million.

The central bank gave the banks at least until December 2018 to raise the amount, which represents a 333.3 per cent increase from the current minimum capital of GH¢120 million.

Mr Grant said the announcement was timely, given the growth in the economy in recent times and the financial demands that it brought.

He stated that the recapitalisation was, therefore, meant to help build strong banks capable of financing big ticket transactions, especially in the petroleum sector where commercial oil production had led to an influx of multibillion investments.

Expedite actions on CFTA

Touching on the CFTA, he called on both African governments and the private sector to expedite actions on negotiations on the continental free trade areas to help improve trade among African countries.

“We believe that the CFTA is going to help increase trade among African countries from 12 per cent to 50 per cent. The real problem over the years is that African countries do not trade among themselves and that is what this CFTA is seeking to address,” he added.

The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso, said the private sector understood that the CFTA constituted a unique opportunity to drive Africa’s transformation and development.

He explained that the frameworks for negotiating and liberalising goods and services were in progress, the next steps would probably focus on the mechanics of implementation.

“Africa has come a long way in a short time, and there are every reason to believe that it can continue growing and developing with the appropriate policy response,” he said.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, also backed calls for governments in Africa and the private sector to facilitate negotiations on the CFTA.

“The important of trade to the growth and development of any nation has become unquestionable. Trade, certainly, has the potential of ensuring economic growth and lifting millions of people out of poverty,” he said.

He explained that the free trade areas had become extremely important strategy for development across the regions of the world as a result of the increasingly deepening of globalisation and integration.

“The CFTA is, therefore, expected to make important contributions to successful market integration and further contribute towards economic growth, development and prosperity of the participating nations.”

Two days conference

The two days 2017 African prosperity conference was on the theme; “the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)—Exploring Possibilities for Business Engagement Across Africa.”

The objectives of the CFTA is to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the continental customs union and the African customs union.

It seek to expand intra African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.

CFTA would resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.

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It also seeks to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.— GB

 

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