Interview: Yofi Grant
How do you ensure that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have an impact on the real economy?
YOFI GRANT: A benefit of FDI is the creation of jobs through the establishment of businesses. Information submitted by the GIPC’s registered companies indicates that $19.64bn of FDI was recorded between 2014 and 2019, with an estimated 19,070 jobs created.
The GIPC ensures FDI has an impact through targeted promotion and facilitation into priority areas, such as agriculture, agro-processing, infrastructure and manufacturing. These sectors have the potential to generate employment and spur economic growth.
Facilitating investment along the value chains of priority sectors, in particular, serves as a vehicle linking small businesses with key service providers, which enhances the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and generates employment opportunities. Another way of ensuring that there is an effective link between FDI and the domestic industry is by encouraging large investors to subcontract local SMEs. The GIPC will also continue to work with the relevant stakeholders to provide an enabling business environment.
In what ways can technology be leveraged to further attract investment partners?
GRANT: The Ghanaian industrial sector, which currently contributes about 34% of the country’s economic output, is characterised by a mix of manual and automated technology, and by the application of mass-production methods. Recognising the relevance of the manufacturing sector, the government has taken steps to develop various policy frameworks to strengthen existing training institutions to deliver entrepreneurship and management training programmes that meet the current and future needs of the sector.
The GIPC is currently promoting domestic investment and FDI to support the priority areas, and is working with flagship programmes, including the One District, One Factory programme and the Strategic Anchor Industries programme, among others. Our strategy is based on encouraging investment in advanced manufacturing, which involves high-value-added activities that depend on highly skilled processes, such as in knowledge-based industries and biotechnology. We are also promoting the use of technology along the entire value chain of the manufacturing sector.
The GIPC is also working to improve perceptions of the country as a research and development location. The government is fully committed to enhancing the country’s business environment to ensure that Ghana remains a leading investment destination in Africa.
Moreover, the GIPC is implementing a virtual onestop shop for investors, and ICT is being leveraged to streamline service delivery. A direct electronic information interchange with crucial stakeholder institutions is also being pursued. There are also plans to start the online processing of applications, such as technology transfer agreements and strategic project applications.
What steps are being taken to leverage the potential of the diaspora to increase FDI inflows?
GRANT: The diaspora not only benefits Ghana through significant inward remittances – which exceed $3bn – but it also has great potential to facilitate and encourage FDI inflows. Acknowledging this, we are focusing on enhancing ties with our diaspora communities by establishing institutional frameworks to support diaspora engagements. The creation of the Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President (DAOOP) is an example of the government engaging with the diaspora to attract FDI.
The GIPC is also collaborating with the DAOOP to offer advisory services to help facilitate investment from the diaspora, and establish an online platform to share information to market investment opportunities. Such platforms could be utilised to encourage trade, knowledge and skills transfer. In addition, multinational companies could rely on local expertise and diaspora networks when establishing new businesses in Ghana.
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