Thursday, August 13, 2009

Investment threshold to go up

The initial equity capital investment of at least three hundred thousand United States Dollars (US$300,000) in Ghana is to be reviewed upward to one million US dollars (US$1million), the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Mr George Aboagye has hinted.According to him the upward adjustment has become necessary because of the sophisticated nature of the business environment and its competitive nature in the 21st Century as well as taking cognizance of the current economic and investment environment.He told B&FT in an exclusive interview that since the promulgation of the GIPC Act 1994 (Act 478) some fifteen years ago, the current US$300,000 had been the threshold. “We want to set a standard that will be very attractive to the business world and to attract very serious business minded individuals, he added.Mr. Aboagye gave the hint at forum organized by GIPC in Kumasi. The purpose of the forum was to listen to major concerns of business owners and how the operations of foreign investors were crippling their businesses and to deliberate on how effectively businesses owned by foreigners could be monitored to ensure that they comply with the stipulated standard as required by the Act that established the Centre.A major concern which was raised by a member of the Ghana Union of Trader’s Association (GUTA) was to make Local Government Authority Permit a requirement by the GIPC to ascertain the source of the foreign investors’ money.Another major concern that was raised was how foreign investors easily get flexible treatment by the country’s business regulators and tax agencies, where as local business men sometimes go through very stern and cumbersome procedure in clearing their goods from the ports.The forum also sought to officially outdoor a regional task force to monitor the activities of non- Ghanaian business people operating in the country to ensure that Ghana’s investment regulations are respected and complied with.The Chief Executive Officer of GIPC said the major task of the Task Force will be to investigate investors who have unlawfully invaded the market. He pledged his outfit’s commitment to fund the Task Force and provide them with logistics and create conducive environment to enable them to work effectively.For sometime now, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre has received reports from certain sectors of the Ghanaian community, particularly the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association, GUTA, that some foreign investors or traders operating in the country are flouting the country’s investment laws.It is alleged that these investors either do not register their investments as required under the GIPC Act 1994 (Act 478) before commencing operations, or they register under the law but do not comply with the laid down provisions for their registration.It is also claimed that some foreign traders evade the payment of taxes and also abuse the country’s employment regulations.
Source:Business & Financial Times

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