President woos German investors
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the international business community of Ghana’s determination to maintain the conducive investment environment that guarantees the safety of legitimate investments and returns on them.
He gave an assurance that the country would not relent in the effort to preserve the atmosphere of peace, stability and security that had contributed to the increasing presence of German businesses in Ghana.
The President gave the assurance when he addressed the Ghana-Germany Business Forum in Dusseldorf as part of his working visit to Germany.
He indicated that since 2017, government had put in place measures required to reduce the cost of doing business, improve the business environment and make Ghana one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa.
Ghana remains one of the fastest-growing economies in the world between 2017 and 2020, averaging annual GDP growth rates of 7.0 per cent for those years, up from the 3.4 per cent GDP growth rate in 2016.
“Indeed, with the economies of many countries around the world in recession having recorded negative growth in 2020, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana’s economy was one of the very few that still managed to record a positive GDP growth, albeit a very modest 0.9 per cent,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“In spite of the ravages of the pandemic, we are working to grow the economy at a much faster rate this year, our target being a five per cent GDP growth rate which will enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies do not just survive, but actually thrive. In the first quarter of this year, the GDP of the economy grew at 3.1 per cent; in the second, at 8.9 per cent,” he indicated.
He said he was encouraged by the fact that more German companies were currently looking to invest in Ghana.
That, he said, was symbolised by the opening of representations of German industry giant, ThyssenKrupp, and the German logistics global player, Kühne & Nagel, in the country and the establishment of the Volkswagen assembly plant in Ghana.
“It continues to be an exciting time to be in Ghana and to do business in the country. Already, other global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan, and Sinotruk of China have also established assembly plants in the country,” he added.
He said Twitter was establishing its African Headquarters in Ghana, Google’s first African Artificial Intelligence Centre was located in Ghana, and the well-known Norwegian energy company, Aker, was very much established in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo told the forum further that Ghana was privileged to play host to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represented currently a market of some 1.2 billion people spread over 54 countries with a combined GDP of $3 trillion.
Records from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre indicate that there has been a total of 192 projects with a foreign direct investment value of US$83.92 million registered from Germany within the last decade.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged the business community in Germany to take advantage of the business-friendly climate to invest in Ghana.
He recommended government’s flagship policies such as “One-district, One-factory”, “One-village, One-dam”, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, as well as in areas in the water, health, housing, road and rail infrastructure, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, the exploitation of mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, renewable energy and ICT growth sectors for the business community to invest in.
“We are hopeful that with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages, and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours. Indeed, Ralf Blankenbach and Havellandische Eisenbahn of Germany are part of a European consortium engaged in the $1.8 billion rehabilitation of the existing Eastern Railway line from Accra to Kumasi,” he added.