The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) on August 21, 2023, collaborated with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), to organize a Business Forum, focused on Ghana’s investment and regulatory landscape.
The event availed an opportunity to orient the Japanese Business Community on the investment trends and opportunities within multiple sectors in Ghana, to guide their expansion and investment decisions.
The Forum also provided an avenue for existing Japanese investors who are operating in Ghana, to know about the role GIPC can play to facilitate their business operations in the country and learn more of its unique Aftercare services, purposed to address post-establishment issues.
Speaking at the event, the Centre’s CEO, Mr. Yofi Grant underscored that Ghana’s engagement with the Japanese business community over the years, has been a dynamic one, with Japan being the 12th highest FDI contributor to Ghana within the period of 2017 to 2022. He mentioned that, though the current economic landscape faces some challenges as countries emerge from the global political and health crisis, there are still several opportunities in Ghana, and Africa at large, that investors can leverage.
“Beyond all that is happening in the world, there is a tacit agreement that Africa has a significant role to play in reviving the global economy, considering its vast unexplored resources and market. We believe that Ghana is an entry point to this real potential” Mr. Grant mentioned.
He added that “Ghana recognizes the quality of Japanese business operations and is very keen on exploring and maintaining mutually beneficial partnerships with the Japanese business community”.
Taking his turn to address the audience, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Hisanobu Mochizuki, noted that the past decade has seen increased Japanese investments into Ghana, with a potential for more. He also touched on some issues besetting the investment environment, but reassured the Japanese investors of GIPC’s commitment to help them address the challenges.
“We recognize GIPC as an important partner in assisting our companies overcome the challenges that they may face in doing business in Ghana” he noted.
Contributing to the discussions, the Director General of JETRO Accra Office, Mr. Hiroaki Sekine, cited factors such as; “complicated administration procedures, unstable exchange rates, and security” as some causatives of Japan’s relatively low investment in Africa. He disclosed that, Japanese investment in 2022 added up to 175 billion USD, consisting of; 36% to US, 24% to EU, 24% to Asia, 8% to Central & South America, 6.5% to Oceania, and 1% to Africa.
He however expressed optimism for higher investment flows to Africa and Ghana in particular from Japan, and implored GIPC to support in tackling investor challenges, so as to make the country the best investment destination in the region.
Mr Sekine’s address was followed by submissions from GIPC’s Head of Research, Eugenia Okyere, and Senior Investment Officer from the Aftercare team, Vivian Ampadu. They respectively focused on the trend of Japanese investment in Ghana, and the ways in which the GIPC can support Japanese businesses on post-establishment issues.
Thereafter, participants were given the chance to table their concerns and suggestions on operational challenges and support systems needed for progressive deliveries in Ghana.