Business News of Monday, 20 June 2016
The Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), as part of its mandate to attract investment into the country, has hosted the first Mexican Trade and Investment Mission to the country.
Mexico re-opened its embassy in Accra in 2015 after 30 years of closure. This initiative was therefore an opportunity to strengthen investment, business and bi-lateral ties which have not existed between the two countries since 1980.
The trade mission intends to take advantage of Ghana’s strategic location as a middle coastal belt with two seaports to export to the land-locked countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Besides, they will use Ghana’s Free Zones programme as a focal point to widen their economic presence and foster a sustainable collaboration for a strategic economic partnership.
Mr. Francesco Gonzalez Diaz, CEO of ProMexico (Mexican Trade Investment Promotion Agency) and leader of the delegation, said Mexico is the 11th-largest economy in the world as well as gateway to the world’s most important market, the North America Free Zones Agreement (NAFTA).
Mr. Diaz reiterated that ProMexico’s aims to adhere to the principles of honesty and transparency established by applicable laws. It strives to establish mutual trust, providing the public with information on its operation for a more informed society. “We are Latin America’s leading exporter with 35% of the region’s total trade volume,” he added.
Mr. Kwame Nsiah Asante, Enclave and Estate Manager for GFZB, in his presentation to the delegation said that apart from the obvious developments to make the Free Zones Programme investor-friendly, Ghana has become an important business proposition due to its strategic geographic location within the West African sub-region that makes it an ideal business hub with easy access to one of Africa’s biggest markets of around 400 million people.
“Ghana’s location as well as relative stability makes it the gateway for regional trade and investment. Ghana’s unique advantages such as a peaceful political environment, respect for the rule of law, and investment guarantees among others makes it a preferred investment destination in the sub-region,” he said.
Mr. Nsiah Asante said the unique advantage Ghana possesses, coupled with the generous incentives and efficient services provided by the GFZB, makes the business environment more than ready to provide maximum returns on investment.
Eight prominent businessmen who expressed interest in diverse sectors including Construction, infrastructure, Services, Farming, Agro-Food processing and pharmaceuticals were part of the business delegation.
In a related development, the delegation toured the Tema Export Processing Zone (TEPZ) to acquaint themselves with developments within the zone. They inspected the new railway line being constructed to link the enclave with the port of Tema, as well as a complementary warehouse and container terminal aimed at decongesting the port and to enhance Just-In-Time operations to and from the enclave. The warehouse under construction occupies 46 acres of land, the biggest in West Africa.