Ghana seeks more Indian investment for development

Francis Kokutse

Accra, March 30 (IANS) Ghanas Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has appealed to Indian investors to follow the footsteps of their predecessors and help develop the country with more investment.

Speaking at the first-ever "Indian Business Day", jointly organised by the Indian High Commission and the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Accra, Awal said agri-business, information and communication technology as well as infrastructure are the areas where the government will welcome investments.

"We want India to help us in our drive to build one factory in every district under the government's 'One Factory One District' initiative, as this will help us create employment," he said.

Awal said that the government is creating the right business environment for investment and called on Indian investors to come to Ghana.

The minister said: "The government is offering tax cuts, free education to produce skilled labour and is creating the right atmosphere to turn Ghana into a preferred investment hub in the West Africa region."

Awal said Ghana has lot to learn from the development of the small and medium enterprises in India and that he would want to see more investors to help grow the country's economy in order to provide more employment to the country's youth.

Encouraging more investment from India, Awal said Indian investors who are ready to come to Ghana, have nothing to fear as the country is already home to several of their compatriots who pay taxes.

"We are doing all we can to find a way of increasing the current trade volume between the two countries from $2 billion to $6 billion," the minister said.

Ashok Mohinani, Chief Executive of the Mohinani Group and an Indian investor who has been in Ghana since many years, said that his firm is one of the several success stories of Indians who have turned Ghana as their home.

"Our company has been here for 50 years," he said.

Mohinani said that for Ghana to turn itself into the "preferred investment hub", there is a need to focus on neighbouring countries, especially Ivory Coast, and to learn from them ways to attract investors.

He also said that Ghana should find a way of aligning its political system with the country's economy, so that changes in the government does not affect economic programmes that have been put in place.

(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at fkokutse@ians.in)

--IANS

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