Source: Ben LARYEA
The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) have licensed 39 new companies with an estimated capital injection of US$230 million into the Ghanaian economy, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ambassador Michael Oquaye Jnr, has announced.
“Estimated export earnings from the 39 companies was US$529 million from an estimated production value of US$436 million”, he added revealing further that the cumulative exports from the Free Zones enterprise since the program’s inception stood at Us$ 27 billion as of the year 2020.
This came to light during a media launch addressed by Amb. Michael Oquaye Jnr in relation with the Authority’s annual investment week celebration in Accra under the theme “GFZA: Championing Export-Led Industrial Growth in the context of AFCTA and World Trade”.
This year’s celebration will commence from 5th to 9th December, 2022 and is geared towards government’s focus on export led industrialization and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AFCFTA) implementation.
The weeklong celebration will showcase GFZA achievements and prospects to both local and foreign business entities and the line-up of activities will include media encounter, road shows, field visits, one-on-one interactions, interviews, workshops, seminars among others with grand climax with CEOs network session and in attendance will be senior ranking government officials, Ministers of State, players in the industrial and manufacturing space at the Marriot Hotel on the 7th of December, 2022.
Addressing the media, Amb. Oquaye Jnr, said the Free Zones program is open to both local and foreign investors and urged Ghanaian owned companies to take advantage of the business opportunities of AFCFTA as well as the 13 billion African markets to leverage their operations.
Giving the breakdown in the Free Zones enclave the CEO said the total number of active companies was 217 as 72 are wholly Ghanaian companies representing 33% as 74 are foreign-owned representing 34% and 71 are joint ventures also representing 33%.
Touching some projects that the Authority is working on, he said GFZA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private develop of a proposed investment estimated at US$ 250 million to $ 300 and is expected to provide world-class infrastructure such as roads, electricity sewage treatment plant container depot, office and residential complex among others on a 1,500 acres of land designated in Yabiw Shama in the Western Region.
He said funds have also been received from the German Corporation (GIZ) to provide an e-mobility transport system within the Tema Export Processing Zone to provide affordable transport for employees within the enclave and have engage the Ghana Water Company Limited to address water challenges and as such it has been tremendously improved.
“The Authority is also engaging the Ghana Gas Company to supply gas directly to the Tema EPZ as an alternative energy source for the company”, he said, explaining further that the move will lead to zero carbon footprint.
On GFZA relations with AfCTA, the CEO said government is keenly exploring and tapping into the opportunities of the trade body saying the agreement has the potential of attracting investments to boost local businesses to export to the Africa market.
“As part of the drive to make Ghana an export driven economy, GFZA have set up an AfCFTA desk at its office to challenge Ghanaian companies to take advantage of the Africa trading and investment opportunities for economic growth and development”, he added.