The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged Maltese companies to take advantage of the new impetus given to Ghana-Maltese relations by the reciprocal high-level visits of the last eighteen (18) months and invest in Ghana.
Addressing a Ghana-Malta Business Forum, on Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, at Valletta, Malta, President Akufo-Addo stated that "Ghana, ladies and gentlemen, is ready for business, and I am happy that Maltese companies have already made investments to the tune of some $19 million in our country."
He told the gathering that there are several projects in Ghana, in the areas of water, housing, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, amongst others, which are being structured to attract private sector investment and financing.
Touting the achievement of his government over the last two years, President Akufo-Addo noted that his administration spent the last two years putting in place measures to improve the fundamentals of Ghana's economy, which, in recent years, had been in considerable disarray, necessitating recourse to an IMF bailout programme.
"We have been moderately successful in trying to grow the Ghanaian economy, ensuring that our economy grew from 3.6% in 2016, the lowest in two decades, to 8.5% in 2017, our first year in office, to 6% last year, and is projected to grow by 7.9% in 2019, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Africa," he said.
The President continued, "We have also now successfully completed and exited the IMF programme, and have decided that, with disciplined management of our public finances, we will not have recourse, again, to a bailout programme."
Additionally, Government, he said has implemented measures which are leading Ghana and her economy into the new digital age, formalising the Ghanaian economy, reducing the cost of doing business, and facilitating interaction between businesses and their clients, particularly in a technology-driven era, where connectivity through digital services is an important element in achieving competitiveness.
The implementation of these measures, and the strengthening of Ghana's macroeconomy have meant that Ghana is, today, the leading recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa.
"Growing investor confidence has meant that global vehicle manufacturing companies such as Volkswagen, Sinotruck, Nissan, Renault and Suzuki; major oil companies such as Aker Energy of Norway, and ExxonMobil of the United States of America; and Tech giant Google, are working towards establishing bases in Ghana," President Akufo-Addo noted.
To Maltese companies present at the meeting, the President indicated that they can choose to invest in Ghana through the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre or set up as a Free Zones enterprise.
Regardless of where the investment is, President Akufo-Addo explained that government has instituted a number of incentives for the investor, depending on the nature of the activity, or the location of the investment, all intended to help investments succeed.
The President assured that "Ghana is a country governed by the rule of law, where the separation of powers is real. We have an independent judiciary, which ensures accountable governance, and you can be assured that your investments will be protected and secure."
He was hopeful that the business forum has provided Maltese investprs with the necessary environment for business networking, which will help advance economic relations between Ghana and Malta.