Business Meet in Mauritius: Ghana looks to bridge gap for investment in West Africa
Ghana has recently embarked on an ambitious but achievable reform programme to improve the investment climate for both local and international investors; in a Mauritius-Ghana business meeting, several avenues of investment were identified such as sugar processing, textiles, finances, health services, ICT, tourism and water sports, among others.
The Mauritius-Ghana partnership is an advantageous one for both countries and Ghana can be used to bridge the gap for investments in West Africa, said President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana at a business meet in Mauritius.
The forum, organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Board of Investment, and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, that was held in the context of thefour-day State Visit of the Ghanaian President to Mauritius,was attended by representatives from both the public and private sectors.
President Mahama stressed that Ghana has recently embarked on an ambitious but achievable reform programme to improve the investment climate for both local and international investors.
“These efforts have paid off tremendously with Ghana being recognised by the World Bank Doing Business Report 2014 as the ‘Best Place for Doing Business in the ECOWAS Region’,” he said.
He added that Ghana has a conducive social, political and economic environment in which investors can invest, grow and be successful.
On the sidelines of the State Visit, President Mahama said that several avenues of investment have been identified with Mauritian counterparts — namely sugar processing, textiles, finances, health services, ICT, tourism and water sports, among others. Another important avenue for investment, he added, is power generation.
The vision of the Ghanaian Government is to transform the country into the power hub of West Africa. To that end, in the next five years, an additional 3,665 Megawatts of power will be produced.
President Mahama underlined that the aim is to move Ghana into a more value-added and diversified economy. In that context, several measures have been put in place, includingeconomic diversification to add value and transform the economy; increasing GDP growth rate to 5 to 6%; achieving fiscal consolidation in next three years; stabilisation of Ghanaian economy and facilitation of growth and job creation; curbing corruption; and improving electricity generation.
For his part, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, announced that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) offering a package of incentives for investors via Mauritius to Africa will soon be launched, while adding that Ghana will be the first to benefit from the SPV.
He recalled that SPVs are in great demand and are advantageous for investors. These advantages include exemption from customs duty and value-added tax, as well as government to government agreements.
Next, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo highlighted the government’s vision to transform Mauritius into a port hub of Africa. With its 2.3 million square kilometres of Exclusive Economic Zone, Mauritius can cater for the whole region and in the next ten years, the maritime hub will become the heart of our economy, he said.
Mauritius is in discussions with China for the construction of a 1.5 km quay at Bain des Dames as well as with Dubai and Singapore for the construction of a new port and container terminal while five requests have been received for the bunkering hub project, the Minister said.
Part of the Jin Fei region will be used as a port logistics centre and a free port and will be the main provider of sea freight, he concluded.
The Republic of Ghana is a democratic nation located in West Africa. The country is one of the most politically stable in the region. It is home to a multitude of natural resources, including rare minerals such as gold, diamond as well as oil and gas reserves. Ghana has a diversified economic base and its young and educated workforce represents 69% of its population.
Three Mauritian companies are currently operating in Ghana. In 2014, the net exports to Ghana from Mauritius amounted to USD 526,000 and net imports from Ghana to Mauritius were USD 333,000.