The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, is backing government’s business regulatory reforms programme to help reverse Ghana’s decline on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.
Mr. Grant told Business24 that while government has over the years embarked on extensive reforms to improve the ease of doing business, the business regulatory reforms programmes being championed by the Trade and Industry Ministry should put Ghana among the best countries in Africa to do business.
Ghana dropped down four places on the Ease of Doing Business Index last year. The country ranked 118 out of 190 countries surveyed by the Bretton Woods institution. This year’s rankings are yet to be released.
“We have the Business Regulatory Reforms programme that focuses on the ease of doing business indicators and works through them. But we are more strategic, as we don’t change them [indicators] because we need to. We change them because of what the overall plan is. And also, we do significant consultation before we change these indicators,” he said.
The Business Regulatory Reforms Programme, which commenced in 2017, includes a comprehensive roadmap for reforms to reduce the time and cost of compliance with business regulations.
It also consists of a Centralised Public Consultation Portal, which was recently launched, to enable government institutions transparently receive inputs and comments on their policies and regulations from a diverse range of stakeholders, including small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) owners, business executives, professionals, consumers, workers, and the public.
The portal also provides an electronic registry of business regulations, consisting of an inventory of all business-related acts, legislative instruments, and administrative notices and directives.
Hub for investment
Despite Ghana’s slide on the Doing Business rankings, Mr Grant was confident that government’s quest to make Ghana the ideal place to invest will not be negatively impacted.
He stated that the ranking only seeks to measure reforms undertaken by countries in the previous year, and as such may not reflect reforms undertaken outside the period under review.
According to the GIPC CEO, while other countries in the sub-region have struggled to attract foreign direct investment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana attracted at least US$400m in the first half of the year.
But for the pandemic, FDI to the country would have topped at least US$5 billion for the first six months of the year alone, he noted, considering major projects such as Accra Marine Drive and the Trade Fair redevelopment project – all of which have been put on hold indefinitely.