Mr Mike Oquaye Jnr., Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), says, enterprises under the Authority have cumulatively made export earnings of over US$ 27 billion over the years.
He said the investments made in reaching the fate had also led to the employment of about 33,000 people directly with over 31, 000 being Ghanaians.
“The free zone enterprises have made export earnings of over US$ 27 billion employing about 33,000 people directly.”
Ghana’s earnings had been a little over half of the US$ 46 billion earned by the Nigerian Free Zones industry.
Mr Oquaye Jnr said this at the 3rd Annual Investment Week 2022, organised by the Authority to discuss issues in improving free zones operations and address challenges enterprises faced amidst the current global economic meltdown.
The event, which was under the theme: “GFZA: Championing Export-led Industrial growth in the context of AfCFTA and world trade,” also updated participants on new trends and policies that would impact businesses positively.
Speaking in his welcome address, Mr Oquaye said the Authority’s role was not only to regulate but facilitate to ensure that business investments in Ghana yielded maximum returns.
He said that could be achieved through cooperation between all government agencies as well as private sector, whilst maximising the opportunities available on the AfCFTA market.
The CEO said the GFZA would continue to help drive the country’s growth, shore up the country’s foreign currency deposits and to create jobs.
He said foreign companies operating under the Ghana Free Zones Authority equally invested their revenue in projects as they enjoyed some level of tax exemption.
Mr Oquaye said: “The foreign companies also give employment to the local people and build facilities and some infrastructure in the communities they operate.
“Free Zones companies are not entirely foreign-owned, Ghanaian ownership is 30 per cent, Ghanaian-foreign ownership is over 30 per cent and foreign is 34 per cent,” he said.
Currently, 217 enterprises are actively operating under the Authority.
The Investment Week celebrations is between December 5 and 9, and today’s event brought together Mr Alan Kyeremateng, Minister for Trade and Industry and Herbert Krapa, other government officials and heads of public and private entities.