The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is to establish a number of Special Economic Zones in the country for foreign investors to operate under special terms and conditions.
The zones would, however, be established for a particular country, after the GIPC is able to agree on good investment and trading terms.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, explained that the GIPC was looking at the Economic Zones concept from a broader perspective and noted that already Ghana had reached an agreement with Mauritius to kick start the project.
Briefing journalists in Accra, after leading a mission to Mauritius, Mr Grant said the establishment of the Special Economic Zone for companies from Mauritius had started in earnest and that would provide jobs and opportunities for indigenes.
“We had a number of MoUs and agreements at the governmental level. The one that was very exciting to the Mauritius government was the establishment of a special economic zone in Dawa, Ghana, which is about 100 kilometers to the east of Accra. It is a special economic zone where Mauritius companies will operate under special terms and conditions,” he said on March 17.
He added that “the GIPC on the broader objective will look to develop a lot more of these special economic zones for countries that we are able to agree on good investment and trading terms with.”
‘We are in a hurry’
Making reference to an earlier statement by President Nana Akufo-Addo that government was in a hurry to fix the economy, Mr Grant said the GIPC was also in a hurry to get the Dawa project running.
“We are in a hurry to get all these things done. We are in Ghana where people are looking for jobs and opportunities; the faster we move, the more we create the opportunities for them,” he said.
Giving an update on the Dawa Project, he said the property and its title had been secured, and once all the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) and treaties were signed, the project would zoom into full force.
“Dawa is up and running. The property has been secured and the title to the property has been secured. What we are waiting to do is to sign the bilateral investment treaty, and the IPPA. The companies that are going to be there are already talking to the Mauritius government on what they want to do. Once all these are signed, it opens the way,” he said.
The GIPC, led by its CEO, embarked on a four-day investment promotion mission to Mauritius between March 9 and 12.
The objective was to provide a platform for high level interactions between Ghanaian companies and their peers in Mauritius and also deepen the growing levels of trade and investment between the two countries.
The investment mission was occasioned on the official visit of the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to Mauritius in collaboration with the Board of Investment (BOI) Mauritius.
Members of the delegation included a representation from the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), CEOs and heads of 13 private sector companies operating in various sectors of the economy.
As part of the mission, the BOI Mauritius educated the Ghanaian delegation with presentations on the business climate and information on doing business in Mauritius.
Successful business matches were made out of which some Ghanaian companies have begun serious discussions with their Mauritius counterparts in the financial services, ICT, waste management and agribusiness sectors.
Investments from Mauritius
Between September 1994 and December 2016, the GIPC had registered 72 projects from Mauritius with an estimated value of US$1.809 billion.
The services sector had the highest share of investments with 37 projects. Building and construction followed with 12 projects, general trading had nine projects, manufacturing recorded six projects, building and construction received 12 projects, tourism with four projects, liaison had two projects and agriculture and export trade had the least with one project each.