The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, says it is in the interest of every foreign investor to look for local Ghanaian partners who can contribute local knowledge, skills and expertise to their operations.
He said the fact that these business partners were Ghanaian nationals and had a certain amount of local patriotism, which could not be bought with money, was a tangible asset for any company.
Dr Spio-Garbrah, who was speaking at the Ghana International Business Network (GIBN) breakfast meeting in Accra, therefore, urged foreign investors to seriously examine their conscience when they decide to come and invest in the country.
The GIBN meeting was put together by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana (EFG) as part of its fifth anniversary celebration.
The event, which was on the theme: “Enhancing Strategic Business Alliance between Domestic and Foreign Investors for Sustainable Economic Development”, brought together top entrepreneurs to interact, network and do business with foreign investors and the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana.
It was also to foster new business relationships and opportunities that may lead to direct commercial trade and investment outcomes for Ghana and international companies of all sizes across all sectors.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said notwithstanding the laws of the country, which clearly permitted any foreign investor to have a 100 per cent stake in their companies, it was in their own interest and the interest of the viability, profitability and the sustainability of their companies to consider having local Ghanaian partners.
He expressed worry at the current business directory figures at the Ghana Investment Centre (GIPC) which indicated that more than 50 per cent of companies registering to do business in Ghana were 100 per cent foreign.
On policies, Dr Spio-Garbrah encouraged Ghanaian businesses to go into partnerships with other companies in order to gradually own and control the economy, such that foreign businesses that entered into the country would recognise the importance of not just seeking a Ghanaian registration but also having partners in terms of ownership, management and running of their enterprises.
Touching on the promotion of made-in-Ghana goods, the minister said the ministry sought to establish a number of Ghana Trade Centres in a number of selected countries where foreign nationals of those countries who have successful businesses would use their trade fronts to display Ghanaian products that were intended for exports.
By this initiative, he said it would not cost the Ghanaian anything to have showrooms established in those countries and they would also be promoting Ghanaian products.
In her remarks, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mona Helen Quartey, said Ghana was blessed with opportunities to make money and to be able to do it on a sustainable basis.
She added that it was important for the youth to study how to create business plans, how to keep those business plans and how to do well in those plans for themselves and for their families.
“So financial literacy is important, financial inclusion is important and being able to do business profitably is also important within ethical boundaries,” she said.