Gov’t. to set up special export zones – Ken Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has hinted that government will soon be setting up special export zones, to ensure that co-operation between German and Ghanaian companies are effective.

In an interview at the Germany-Ghana Investors Forum in Accra on Thursday, Ofori-Atta said this has become necessary with the signing of a business agreement between government of Ghana and Volkswagen (VW).

Unlike the Ghana Free Zones Programme, which is aimed at opening Ghana up to potential investors who can utilize the Free Zones as a base to produce goods and services mainly for export, Special export zones, are broader and open to local economies, hence goods produced are consumed both internally and externally.

This notwithstanding, free zone enterprises operating are allowed to sell up to 30 percent of their annual production on the local market.

It is expected that with the change from Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to SEZs would integrate the export drive to the overall economy by eliminating EPZ enclaves, thereby creating more jobs and ease to the transfer of technology.

To encourage businesses to set up in these zones, government will have to introduce financial policies. These policies will typically regard investing, taxation, trading, quotas, customs and labour regulations.

Accra-Berlin Forum

The Accra-Berlin Forum focused on three thematic industrial areas – Automotive Industry, Agriculture and Financial Technology.

The Minister emphasized the need to draw in more private sector investment, which would go a long way to assist in the creation of jobs.

He said, “now the gap between our investment needs and our savings capacities, how do you cascade in private sector investment to enable us to create the type of jobs that are required,” adding, “the next layer becomes clear as we move on after the IMF.”

Ofori-Atta noted that, government is pushing ahead for reforms in its Compact with Africa (CwA) commitment, which would make Ghana a super-attractive place for doing business.

He highlighted some efforts being made including, the companies code which is now in parliament, revision of the GIPC law, as well as progress in the infrastructure and digitization of land registration and interoperability of payment systems.

By Joshua W. Amlanu