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http://news.myjoyonline.com/business/201010/54727.asp

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has acquired tracts of land in strategic parts of the country to facilitate the location of investments in the country.

The idea is to help ease some of the encumbrances involved in Ghana's land market to investors that the centre woos to the country, many of which get frustrated by the complex land tenure system in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC Mr George Aboagye, told the Graphic Business that the plots included about 2,000 acres in Sekondi, 600 acres in Shama, both in the Western Region as well as a total of 2,000 acres in the Accra-Tema area.

Mr Aboagye said those in the Western Region would be developed in to an integrated alumina production to facilitate the effective use of the country's bauxite deposits which had been sitting for a long time with little use.

Ghana for a long time has had a shelved plan for the development of the bauxite industry right from the extraction to the production of final products such as kitchenware, doors and other materials for the construction industry. It explains the setting up of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), an aluminium smelter to feed companies such as Aluworks to produce intermediate products for the factories to finish into cookware and other products for households and the building industry.

Meanwhile, the GIPC says it now completes the registration of new businesses in five working days, a positive departure from the several weeks that it took investors to register their businesses.

The new move is part of what the centre calls 'hand holding policy' where it assigns an officer to an investor to assist in registration so as to move the process faster.

The policy is necessary in helping Ghana to attract foreign direct investment, which is now in high demand following renewed interest in the investor community in Far East and Asian countries such as China, South Korea, India and other emerging countries like Brazil and Eastern Europe.

According to the Head of Promotion, Mr Edward Ashong Lartey, arrangements were in place with the Bank of Ghana to facilitate the quick transfer of capital by investors in foreign currencies through the banking system and converted to Ghana cedis to start business.

The centre has therefore urged the investor community to turn their attention to Ghana as the leading destination of businesses in West Africa, where they could look beyond the oil and gas industry and invest in other viable sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture and agro-processing, information and communications technology and tourism.
 
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