Let's team up for investment -JAK to Chinese

By Graphic/Corrections by McKinley High

President J. A. Kufuor asked the Chinese business community to team up with their Ghanaian counterparts within the framework of South-South Co-operation to invest in the rail, water, road and energy sectors of Ghana. He assured the Chinese community of the protection of their investments against possible political risks. President Kufuor made the appeal when he addressed representatives of 22 private and state enterprises on investment opportunities in Ghana at a meeting at the Garden Hotel in Shanghai, China yesterday. The President is in Shanghai as part of his one-week official visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese Government. The President said China is the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ghana and expressed the hope that with his official visit to the Far East country and subsequent follow-ups by relevant investment agencies, China will continue to be a leading investor in the country. There are currently 96 registered Chinese investments in the country. President Kufuor said the government recognizes that the main reasons for making investments decisions are incentive packages and security of investments. He indicated that the government has provided a set of internationally competitive and liberal incentives to ensure that foreign investment in Ghana yield the right levels of returns. The incentives, he said, include corporate tax of only six per cent on export income, 25 per cent for hotels and 35 per cent for other businesses.

Again, the state offers vocational incentives, ranging from 25 per cent to 50 per cent tax rebates, designed to ensure equitable distribution of investments throughout the country.

On investment security, President Kufuor said Ghana belongs to the Multi-lateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank as well as a number of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) for avoidance of double taxation with several countries, including China. He said the government is also ready to consider extra tailor-made guarantees to suit the requirements of individual investors.

Touching on areas of investments that are of immediate concern to the country, President Kufuor said the government's focus is on roads, railways, and water and energy sectors. He said other areas of potential investments are textiles and clothing, bicycles, radios, hydroelectric power generation, cocoa and cashew processing as well as tourism.

The Chinese investors asked questions about cocoa and gold productions in Ghana. President Kufuor said the government has an objective to increase cocoa processing from the current level of 12 per cent to more than 40 per cent of the total production of 400,000 tons per annum, and appealed to Chinese investors to invest in the cocoa sector to produce chocolate and confectionery to suit the Chinese market.

He said Ghana's proximity to the American and European markets, as well as her quota free and tariff access to the US market under AGOA, present the country as a competitive investment destination. He told the Chinese investors that it would be quicker and easier to make $1 million profit in Ghana than in China

Mr. Wu Chenglin, Chairman of Shanghai Sub-Council of Chinese Chamber of Commerce who chaired the meeting, expressed appreciation to President Kufuor for his lucid presentation on investment opportunities in Ghana. He expressed the hope that Chinese businessmen and women will find partners in Ghana to undertake investment initiatives in the country.