Executive Director of the European Business Organization in Ghana, Nico van Staalduinen, has bemoaned the uncertainties surrounding Ghana’s stance on local content regulations. The Executive Director explained that the inconsistencies create an atmosphere of insecurity which doesn’t help businesses and drives investors away.
He revealed that the trend has pushed lots of investors to reconsider their decision to invest in Ghana while some European investors in Ghana have considered relocating from the country because of unfavorable regulations.
Nico van Staalduinen disclosed “the government is rolling out lots of policies about local content and as EBO and a Ghanaian by registration, I feel Ghana has all the rights to do that and the policies are good and they should work, but the foreign companies that are present in Ghana are either not understanding or the government is not explaining well what it means and some of the things are coming close to; “are we going to invest in Ghana again, are we going to leave the country?””
“At the moment Europeans are very careful. European companies who are already in Ghana are looking at the local content laws that are in parliament so these signals are being sent to Europe and European investors are very careful. Even the existing European companies are stopping investments until there is clarity as to what it is going to mean and how it is going to affect the companies.”
He made these disclosures on the sidelines of an event organized in Accra by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the European Business Organization-Ghana on the topic “Creating Impactful Local Content Regulations for Ghana”.
The program brought together specialists and relevant people from different fields to deliberate on the topic.
European Business Organization Executive Director indicated that Ghana remains an attractive spot for foreign investors because of the business-friendly climate. He was quick to note, however, that the local content regulations casts doubt in the minds of businesses as it has the potential of depriving them relevant returns on their investments
Emphasizing the essence of such a conference, Nico stated: “all we want to do with this conference is try to make people aware that you move Ghana into a slippery path and we have to be very careful because the consequences could be dire not only for the investors but also for the Ghanaian economy”.