AFCTA secretariat in Accra likely to increase FDI – Foreign Minister

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, is optimistic that the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat in Accra, will pull foreign direct investments to the country.

The Minister, believes AfCFTA will facilitate quality Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that would support the developmental needs of the country.

Addressing the newly elected executives of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Madam Ayokor Botchwey "indicated that the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra is likely to act as pull factors for Foreign Direct Investment".

She indicated the robustness of Ghana's private sector and urged the players to leverage on the various government flagship projects. She underscored the role of the private sector when AfCFTA begins.

According to her, "the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 1st January 2021, stating that the role of the private sector is critical if Ghana is to maximize the full benefits of the agreement and the opportunities presented by a continental market size of 1.2 billion with a GDP of $3 trillion", she explained.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey further congratulated the Chamber for holding a successful election and recalled the cordial working relations between the Ministry and the Chamber.

"The Executives that the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau of the Ministry was purposely re-established to serve the business interests of the Ghanaian private sector, indicating satisfaction at the level of cooperation so far between the Ministry, through ECTIB, and the Chamber," the minister said.

The Minister said government is in consultation with some financial institutions to establish a Guarantee Scheme of up to GH¢2 billion to enable businesses to borrow from banks at a more affordable rate and a longer course.

The Minister stated that the establishment of the GH¢2 billion Guarantee Scheme, is to help businesses to access loans from banks at affordable rates to retain jobs and to save businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

She touched on the impact of COVID-19 on Ghanaian businesses, noting that the Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) Programme, have been put in place to mitigate the effects.

"The CARES Programme has a two-step phase, namely, a stabilisation phase and a revitalisation phase.

State that under the stabilization phase, the Government is extending the duration or coverage of some of the programmes already put in place to provide relief and support to Ghanaians like ensuring food security, protecting businesses and workers, strengthening the health system as well as easing the burden on businesses through the issuance of a monetary policy standard and regulatory regime", she revealed.

Madam Ayokor Botchwey, further disclosed that "the Government has decided to extend the provision of free water supply for another three months as well as increase funding to the CAP-BuSS Programme being run by the National Board for Small Scale Industries, to expand support to the millions of Ghanaians in the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector".