The country recorded a significant surge in investment inflows in 2020, despite the ravaging impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. About 125 projects were registered in that year.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) component amounted to $2.1 billion, representing about 91 per cent rise over the same period in 2019, when $1.1 billion was realised.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, made this known in a virtual business forum organised by the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA) in Accra.
Dubbed, "Ghana's economic outlook for the year 2021", the forum offered perspectives and ideas to assist members and the private sector in general to prepare adequately for opportunities in the economy.
Participants included the Senior Manager of KPMG, Mr Evans Asare; the Country Director of GIZ, Mrs Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, and the President of the GGEA, Mr Stephen Antwi.
According to Mr Grant, “despite COVID-19, Ghana’s attraction to foreign investment has been high and I think that it was because it had been recognised as one of the fastest growing economies in the world”.
He said the 2020 investment inflow had the prospect of generating a minimum of 23,000 direct jobs.
“We expect that 95 per cent of the jobs will be secured by Ghanaians, while the rest goes to expatriates.
“We have seen that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, our industries have made additions to their production lines with the introduction of personal protective equipment (PPE), including hand sanitiser,” the CEO said.
Mr Grant further indicated that “going forward, the intention is to improve the efficiency in production and also ensure that we have an environment that supports business”.
“At the GIPC, we have an agenda to modernise the investment climate and make the country much more attractive for both local and foreign investors,” he added.
Mr Asare of KPMG said a strong partnership between local firms and foreign companies was needed to access foreign markets.
He said such a strategic partnership could also take advantage of opportunities presented under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to grow their businesses.
Mr Asare, however, said there was the need for private firms to restructure their operations and position themselves to attract foreign investment within the short term.
“It is important for the private sector to also look for opportunities that can ensure that they make progress towards the realisation of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs),” he added.
For her part, Mrs Barbosa of GIZ said her outfit had combined short-term measures of containing COVID-19 with a long-term approach that focused on stability and resilience, in close cooperation with the private sector.
She said efforts by GIZ and its partners were geared towards ensuring job creation for the unemployed, some of whom lost their livelihoods to the pandemic.