2017 looks bright and promising, the just unfolded plans of the new government look good, there are a lot of private sector developments and the promises to the private sector to ease doing business in Ghana sound promising as well.

Although I am not in favor of creating new ministries, whilst we have so many already, the creation of a special ministry for business development shows that the government takes private enterprises and business serious.

The Triangle, of importance to our business looks good; Ken Ofori Atta, on Finance, Alan Kyerematen on Trade and Industry and Ibrahim Mohammed Awal on Business Development sound like all the right people at the right place because they are all experienced business men.

Negative part was that I heard the (then President elect) President Nana Akuffo Addo mention re-negotiation of the hard fought IEPA between Ghana and the European Union, and the mentioning of foreign and local business.

The main target in 2017 for EBO-Ghana will be to fight against this separation!

Every European owned, or partly European owned company, registered in Ghana is a Ghanaian corporate entity and legally (according to GIPC guaranties given to foreign investors) there is no difference between a local or foreign owned company.

EBO Ghana will make sure it stays like that and will defend that in the best interest for our European stakeholders but also in the best interest of Ghana.  Mainly because we sincerely believe that discriminating between local and foreign investors creates loss of trust by foreign investors and that is not in the interest of Ghana either.  

Tackling enforced and newly developed, discriminatory Local Content laws will remain our target. We will start a dialogue with the new “business triangle” and convince them that Local Content as being pushed by the previous Government is not in the interest of Ghana.

On the 6th of March Ghana celebrates its 60 years anniversary followed on the 9th of May by the celebrations of 60 years anniversary of the European Union. Although 60 is the official retirement age in Ghana, I think Ghana has now become “wise” enough for a new revival especially with its relationship with its largest trade partner: The European Union.

As The President’s colleague overseas says “America first”, we do believe in Ghana and the European Union at a shared 1st place and the rest of the world place 3 to 196

Nico van Staalduinen, Executive Director EBO-Ghana

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