The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), Ambassador Mike Oquaye Jnr has disclosed that, the creation of the Free Zones Policy is not for only Foreign investors but indigenous Ghanaians are also part.
The impression that the concept is to attract foreigners is no true
He made this known when given a Keynote address at a meeting organized between GFZA and the Association of Ghana Industries in Accra under the theme, ” The Role of Ghana Free Zones Authority in Harnessing the Potential of the Private Sector for Economic Growth” .
Ambassador Oquaye Jnr. averred that, one of his vision as CEO of GFZA is to have a fruitful interactions with Ghanaian business men and women in other to erode the perceptions created by many people that Free Zones is for foreigners.
He revealed that, when you looked at the composition of Free Zones, about 33% is made up of foreigners, another 33% are Ghanaians while 34% are made up of Ghanaians who are working with non-Ghanaians in a joint venture.
Among the purpose he indicated, was to have interaction with Members of AGI to boost more local participation in the free zones area.
“So if your business is engaged in exports, you can take advantage of the free zones regime, It is called Monetary or Non Monetary incentives aimed at providing support for your business”.
Ghanaians he stated, are not only good educationist but also have clear distinct of speaking English, good in IT which he noted, is an advantage over other countries saying, competitively, Ghana can look at business outsourcing as well as all the various units like manufacturing, provision of services etc to have a competitive advantage to support Ghana’s economy.
Ghana Free Zones Authority was established by an Act of Parliament, The Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504), focused on establishing free zones in Ghana to promote economic development,
The Authority’s mandate is to regulate activities within free zones it is governed by a nine-member Board chaired by the Minister of Trade and Industry.
The main objective of the programme is the promotion of economic development through: Attraction of Foreign Direct Investments, creation of employment opportunities, increasing foreign exchange earnings, rovision of business opportunities for foreign, local investors and joint ventures, enhancement of technical and managerial expertise of Ghanaians, promotion of Technology transfer and diversification of export,
The Mission of the Free Zones Authority is to help transform Ghana into the Gateway to Africa by creating an attractive and conducive business environment through the provision of competitive Free Zones and SEZ incentives and the operation of an efficient “one-stop-shop” for the promotion and enhancement of domestic and foreign investment. .
Free zone investors do not require any minimum capital investment. However, investors must indicate their ability to fulfil the minimum 70% export requirement. New investors are required to go through the following steps to obtain a free zone license;
Free Zones provide the following services: Investment information; Granting of Licenses; Support for securing permits from related State Agencies; Serviced land and utilities at the Export Processing and Special Economic Zones; Support for obtaining work/ residence permit for expatriates in the Free Zones and any other service requested by investors.