Her Excellency Anna Bossman on Thursday, 28th June engaged representatives of MEDEF (Mouvement des Enterprises de France) and the French Business delegation headed by the French Ambassador to Ghana in a series of meetings at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
Her Excellency sat on the Panel of MEDEF at the opening meeting where she gave a welcoming speech to the delegation on their 2-day visit to Ghana. H.E Francis Pujolas, French Ambassador to Ghana, introduced Medef to attendees and explained the purpose of the visit to Ghana. In his speech, he indicated that the delegation were on a business visit to Ghana with an objective to invest in Ghana. Mr Pujolas’ introduction was followed by presentations from GIPC and BOG. Representatives of both entities gave an overview of their establishments and outlined benefits of the French working and investing in Ghana. Each presentation was followed by a series of questions from the delegation which were duly answered.
H.E Anna Bossman, MEDEF and French Delegation meet Businesses from the Ghanaian Private Sector.
Her excellency was present for the second half of the meeting with representatives of MEDEF, the French delegation and some companies from the Ghanaian Private Sector. Nana Osei Bonsu, CEO of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) indicated that the private sector in Ghana is open to investments and partnerships especially in the areas of Finance, Energy and Waste Management.
Mr Bruno Mettling, Chairman of Orange Egypt who was present at the meeting explained that the visit and subsequent series of meetings by the French delegation was to improve visibility of the French offer to companies in Ghana and promote partnership with Ghanaian businesses.
H.E Anna Bossman, MEDEF and French Delegation meet Finance Ministry in Ghana
The French delegation, MEDEF and Her Excellency Anna Bossman meet with some memebers of the Finance Ministry in Ghana on the 29th of June. This marked the second day of the delegation’s trip to Ghana.Honourable Ken Ofori Attah, Minister of Finance and his deputy Mr Kwaku Kwarteng were present at the meeting. Mr Kwateng welcomed the entourage and said the ministry was striving to provide an enabling environment to attract, retain and grow French companies in Ghana.
H.E Mr Francis Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana said, ‘The French have a vision to develop businesses in Africa by partnering African businesses.’ His Excellency further iterated that the French had identified that one problem that plagued Africa was a Funding gap despite the fact that there were large development opportunities. He stated Ghana had a 1.750 debt management ratio and 3.5 ratio on other financial projects.
Honourable Ken Ofori Attah in response to the French Ambassador’s speech and questions raised said Ghana preferred long term investments over sovereign guarantee as they will help improve the rate of growth of the economy.
Members of the delegation sited that there was a need to rebuild consolidated partnerships and put in frameworks. According to the delegation, regulatory laws and a cumbersome framework were impediments to investments in the country. The delegation further added that value added discounts could be made available for French companies that we actively in industries that transformed raw materials into value added products for sale and export.
H.E Anna Bossman, MEDEF and French Delegation meet Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
The final meeting for the French Business delegation was held in Jubilee House with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. In an introductory remark, Mr Bruno Mettling, Chairman of Orange Egypt, said “We believe there are many wonderful prospects ahead of us and this is tremendously improved by our political dialogue. We are in Ghana to respond to your call at our last meeting in France where you indicated West Africa doesn’t end in Ivory Coast and invited us to come and invest in Ghana as well. The French delegation is here to initiate real partnership between the Ghanaian private sector and the french private sector. The time of countries investing and taking returns back to their homelands is well behind us. It is clearly the wish of France to develop strong partnerships that will help both countries grow.’
Mr Mettling explained the delegation had been in a series of meeting with different groups and ministries in order to identify key investment areas and clarify any questions the delegation would want answered. His introduction ended with him citing local content as a key area the French will want to invest in. Mr Mettling said Tax polices in Ghana and taxation had somewhat become a hindrance to setting up and growing businesses in Ghana.
In response to Mr Bruno Mettling’s introduction and questions, Dr Bawumia said ‘Ghana is open for business and is headed towards a new direction, Ghana Beyond Aid, set by President Nana Akuffo Addo. To get there, we need a friendly economic environment. Our goal is to build the most business friendly country on continent characterised by peace and a stable democracy. For the investment environment to be favourable, there should be stability in our laws and investment in upstream content. This is so downstream content can be handled by local companies. On the issues of tax, our government is putting in place measure to abolish some taxes. We have already began this by abolishing over ten taxes. Our government is of the view that reducing taxes will help companies make more money and grow larger which is essential to the development of the economy. We are moving from a focus on taxation, to a focus on production. We know it wont be easy, however, we will be there to deal with bottlenecks as they arrive.
A member of the French delegation asked the Vice-President about the prospects of the telecom market in Ghana. Dr Bawumia in his address, said that the telecom market prospects in Ghana are huge. He said though there has been an increase in mobile money penetration, there is still a very huge market which is untapped. The vice president said mobile penetration sits on the digitisation scheme which is anchored on the National Identification System. He further explained that with the launch of mobile money interoperability, the strength of the telecom market has been enhanced.