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Investors lament over difficulties in opening businesses

Some investors seeking to make investments in the country have demanded for fair treatment in the business environment.

The investors who formed part of a delegation from the Caribbean are seeking to take advantage of the available investment opportunities in Ghana.

Speaking at the maiden Caribbean Trade Mission in Ghana, some investors lamented over lack of transparency in the processes to register and start a business in Ghana.

“The laws are great, they help investors with the transfer of funds and everything else but there are unwritten laws in the way people conduct business,” Mahasse Ragoonath an investor in the Petroleum sector with Decker Petroleum lamented.

“ I’m in the Petroleum industry. Let’s say for example you are exporting from Trinidad to Ghana now and here comes Mr. X saying that you cannot sell the product. Why?. Because he has arrangements with the larger multinationals that actually controls the system,” he said.

He added that corruption is a major challenge to many investors who wish to do business in Ghana.

“I’m not telling you something hypothetically. I’m telling you something from my experience in the Caribbean, in the Dominican Republic, in Latin America, so it’s difficult to penetrate. While the laws are there the actual way that you do business is completely different,” Ragoonath said.

“In our industry, it’s not like bottled water or garments where you can go to the small retailers or stuff like that , you have to go to individuals and theses individual are very few and are blocked by certain arrangement and so forth,” he added.

However, responding to the concerns, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre(GIPC), Yofi Grant gave the assurance that investments from both local and foreign partners would be treated in a fair manner whiles reiterating the moves by government to ease the process of doing business.

“I am not aware of any formal agreements or arrangements that bar anybody who comes in internally competitively. So if you had a specific problem, it’s one that we need to look at as an isolated case. I am not sure there is any formal arrangement that bars anyone from doing your business equitably and fairly” he said.

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