FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

MARKET PROFILE - GHANA

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

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6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

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MARKET PROFILE - IVORY COAST

Population (2017): 24.2 million
GDP (2017): US$40.4 billion (S$54.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 139
Bilateral Trade with Singapore (2017): S$45.9 million
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$45.9 million

WHY IVORY COAST

Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d’Ivoire, is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its economy has grown at an average of 8% per year from 2012 to 2017. The country’s estimated GDP growth is expected to reach 7.4% in 2018 and the strong growth is likely to continue through 20201.

 

Ivory Coast is currently the largest member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It aims to be the trading hub in West Africa and the gateway to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The government has also put in place ambitious plans to stimulate and enhance private investment to achieve emerging market status by 2020. government’s National Development Plan (NDP) aims to transform Ivory Coast into a middle-income economy by 20202. Ongoing and planned road, port and railway investments will boost national and regional trade. Improved security and political stability will encourage economic and consumer markets growth.

1.2 “World bank – 2019”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)

Ivory Coast has seen improved political environment and relative stability since the end of a long civil conflict in 2011. Current President Alassane Ouattara has focused on economic growth, driven by foreign investments, to normalise the political situation. He also revamped the nation’s agriculture and housing industries – which have played a part in bringing stability to the country. The completion of relatively peaceful presidential elections in 2015 and parliamentary elections in 2016 are testament to Ivory Coast’s increased ability to manage its political process. In addition, the departure of United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in June 2017 signifies the progress that the country has made in establishing peace and stability.

Ivory Coast is embarking on massive upgrading of its infrastructure, with significant investments from public and private sectors. The government plans to spend US$60 billion on infrastructure projects between 2016 and 2020. National and regional transport infrastructure as well as power supply reliability are expected to show great improvements in the coming decade. These improvements in infrastructure will also have positive spillovers for the greater economy, stimulating business activity and boosting household spending.

 

Abidjan is a city on the coast of Ivory Coast. It is the country’s major urban centre and economic centre. 90% of Ivory Coast’s industrial sector is located in Abidjan, where industrial zones in the city takes up 885ha. With average industry growth of 8% per annum, the availability of land for large industrial operations is insufficient to satisfy increasing demand.

Abidjan has a modern deep water commercial seaport which forms a gateway to Western Africa. The Common Stock Exchange of West Africa is also located there. The city is home to branches of major local and international institutions such as the African Development Bank Group, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Regional Values Exchange, Crédit Lyonnais and Barclays.

The agriculture sector accounts for 25% of Ivory Coast’s GDP and employs two-thirds of the population. The country is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans and cashews1 and is also a significant producer of cash crops including rubber, palm oil, bananas, cotton and coffee.

Agricultural land has increased by more than 16% since 1991, which has given the country a strong position in the national, regional and international markets. The launch of the National Agricultural Investment Programme (PNIA), which covered the 2012 – 2016 period, saw approximately US$3.2 billion allocated to boost investments and increase agricultural production. Cash crops have grown from 4.9 billion tonnes in 2012 to more than 5.9 billion tonnes in 2015.

The government has announced the second phase of PNIA – which will be based on the establishment of agro-industrial zones or agropoles. Two pillars have been identified:

  • Upstream: Put in place all the agricultural infrastructure that improves productivity.
  • Downstream: Facilitate a network of private partners for the conservation, processing and marketing of agricultural products. In this agro-polar system, other basic social services such as water, electricity, education and even infocommunications technology and finance are taken into account2.

Ivory Coast is also one of the first agricultural countries that have started to implement an e-agriculture strategy. It was planned to implement a harmonised e-platform that gives access to information, services and training for the sector especially in rural areas.

1 Export.gov, 2019

2 Oxford Business Group

Reforms in property registration, governmental development programmes and efforts to improve the business environment are creating opportunities for housing finance and housing development sectors. Although the government’s effort in improving the business environment and sourcing foreign direct investment (FDI) to develop urban infrastructure and housing is paying off, there is still a need to innovate housing finance to bridge the gap between demand and supply of adequate and affordable houses.

Providing decent, affordable housing has become a key legislative component of Ivory Coast’s government, especially the need to strengthen the financing options for home buyers and real estate developers. The government has prioritised housing development through supporting real estate projects, and providing insurance for mortgage loans issued by banks. The country has the lowest mortgage interest rate (5.5%) in the region – as compared to other countries in West Africa that can go up to four times more.

Two-thirds of national electricity is produced by thermal power stations and 25% is generated by hydropower plants. Ivory Coast is a net exporter of electricity to neighbouring countries in the West African Power Pool (WAPP). The country has an extensive electricity network, moderate electricity prices and a reliable service. It was one of the first countries in SSA to privatise its electricity sector and to introduce independent power producers (IPPs), already in the 1980s.

Today, IPPs play a leading role in electricity generation based on a regulatory framework that defines how Ivory Coast regulates its independent producers. The cascading structure positions IPPs as first in line in payment orders. As part of National Development Plan 2016-20, Ivory Coast has set a goal of making the country an energy hub in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing quality, cheap and abundant energy to national and sub-regional populations.

In response to high economic growth, the country needs an average of 150MW of additional production capacity per year in the system in order to meet the increasing demand. Ivory Coast plans to invest US$20 billion over the next 15 years, and expects to increase its current capacity of 1,800MW to 4,000MW in 2020 by using gas and hydroelectric power. With the government still counting on private partners to increase national capacity, Singapore companies in related industries can find abundant opportunities in this sector.

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MARKET PROFILE - MOROCCO

Population (2019): 35 million
GDP (2017): US$109.7 billion (S$148.1 billion)1
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2019): 60

WHY MORROCO

Morocco has worked with international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to accelerate the pace of economic development over the past few years. The country has now liberalised trade, and is open to the international market. In particular, Morocco is a significant trading partner with the European Union (via France and Spain). The Moroccan dirham has an exchange rate pegged to a basket of currencies, primarily the Euro and US dollar – this has resulted in a low inflation rate of below 2% per annum. Morocco’s telecommunications and IT infrastructures are among its fastest growing sectors – most major cities have networks that are almost 100% fibre optic, giving Morocco an edge in emerging e-commerce markets.

1 https://data.worldbank.org/country/morocco

Morocco shares borders with Algeria, the Western Sahara and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Its north coast is on the Mediterranean Sea, and this provides a logistical advantage as it is only a short distance from France and Spain. Morocco has approximately 1,835 km of coastline, which makes it ideal for transnational merchandise fleets and general shipping. Morocco counts 24 ports which manage 98% of the country’s external trade.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.

4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Under King Mohammed VI, Morocco has made education a national priority. The country has deployed strategies to modernise and enhance the quality of education since 2005. Morocco is home to several high-ranked universities that have been developed in partnership with Canadian and European schools. Singapore investors will find a skilled workforce to draw from when setting up businesses or branches in the country.

Morocco has experienced continued peace and stability since its independence from France in 1954. Successive administrations have focused on developing the economy and the welfare of Morocco and its citizens. This stability is reassuring for foreign investors as there is less risk of their investments being jeopardised by a military coup, riots or political uproar.2

2 http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/morocco

BUSINESS HUB OF MOROCCO
Not only is Casablanca the most populous city in Morocco, with over three million residents, it is also well known as the commercial centre of the country. Leading local and international corporations typically locate their business headquarters and industrial facilities in Casablanca. Singapore businesses looking to move into the city will find Casablanca to be a practical and convenient location, with many opportunities to find local or foreign partners for business tie-ups.

The city is also an ideal entry point for new businesses due to its connectivity. The Mohammed V International Airport which is located in Casablanca, is the busiest in Morocco, and is only a three-hour flight from Europe.

WORLD CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE
Boasting infrastructure of international standards, the city has a total of nine industrial zones, and one of the world’s largest artificial ports called Port of Casablanca. Casablanca alone accounts for about 50% of all port tonnage handled. The city is ranked 155 under IESE Cities in Motion Index in 2018, and is the highest ranking African city1.

Casablanca is also a major exporter of phosphate, with other key industries being building materials, electronics, fishing and canning, furniture production, and sawmills.

1 IESE Cities in Motion Index, 2019

WORLD-RENOWNED TOURISM & LIFESTYLE HUB
Casablanca draws a fair amount of tourism, due to its unique blend of French and Arab architectural styles. It is home to the Hassan II Mosque, the third-largest in the world, and the Nortre-Dame de Lourdes church.

Beyond the historical sites, Casablanca is also known as an entertainment and lifestyle hub. The famed waterfront i.e. Anfa area is home to luxury tourist resorts, high-end apartments and leading fashion brands. Major shopping and entertainment complex Morocco Mall is located here, while Parc Sindibad has been redeveloped with rides and games. La Corniche, a famed walking road along the Atlantic Ocean, features a stretch of exclusive clubs and hotels. The fast-growing entertainment sector in Casablanca provides a foot-in-the-door for Singapore businesses; and can also serve a prestigious gateway to the rest of North Africa. Singapore hospitality and retail companies can also find ample opportunities in Casablanca.

(The city’s name also has a long-standing presence in film history, due to the World War II classic Casablanca; but the movie was not filmed in the actual city).

LEADING TOURIST DESTINATION
With an estimated population of 900,000, Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in Morocco. Notably, the city is a prime tourist destination – having been deemed to be the most important of Morocco’s four former imperial cities with a great cultural and historical significance.

Dubbed the “Red City”, attributed to its terracotta-coloured mudbrick walls and architecture, the medina of Marrakesh has been bestowed UNESCO World Heritage status since 1985. Home to several monuments, including the Koutoubia Mosque, the Ali ben Youssef Medersa and the Bahia Palace, Marrakech hit a record high of 2 million tourists and 6 million overnight stays in 20172. Singapore businesses involved in retail, marketing, and real estate development can look forward to tapping Marrakesh’s tourism boom.

Perhaps the best known centre of tourism in Marrakesh is Jemaa el-Fnaa square. The famed outdoor market features everything from spices and fabrics to snake charmers and jugglers. It has been in existence – albeit in different forms – since the 11th century. Hospitality and retail businesses around the square see a thriving tourism trade.

2 https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/01/237558/tourism-marrakech-breaks-records-2017/

HEART OF MOROCCO’S SERVICE CENTER
Due to Marrakesh’s tourism industry, primary forms of business are in crafts, service and trade industry. Marrakesh employs over 40,000 people in copperware, leather, pottery, and other crafts. Fabrics and tailoring, using Moroccan materials, is also a major source of revenue.

Industrial manufacturing in Marrakesh is centred in Sidii Ghanem Al Massar, where most major factories are sited. Major Italian cement supplier Ciments Morocco has a factory here, as do many manufacturing businesses in the European Union. Singapore retail businesses can find many quality suppliers or producers within the city.

The AeroExpo Marraksesh International Exhibition is also held in the city. This is a major air show, which is a prime attraction for those in the aeronautics and related services industry.

According to the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service1 in 2017, Quick Serve Restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC now have a strong presence in major cities such as Casablanca and Marrakesh. French and Spanish eateries remain popular, with catering peaks between May to August. Food service companies in Singapore may find new opportunities in the major cities, where residents have the income to support a growing restaurant scene.

The Morroco Food Expo 2019 a food and hospitality event is also a potential platform for Singapore agriculture and food manufacturing companies to meet partners, buyers and investors in the region.

Agriculture is a major contributor to Morocco’s overall economy, contributing some 15% of GDP2. About 40% of the county’s workforce is employed in agriculture, and it accounts for about 10% of the country’s overall exports. However, the country faces challenges with drought and soil degradation – Singapore companies with the expertise to handle these issues are likely to find high demand.

1 USDA Foreign Agriculture Service GAIN report 2017, GAIN report number MO1715
2 Oxford Business Group, The Report: Morocco 2018

The lifestyle shifts, increased consumption and spending of Moroccans have helped to create a thriving food sector in Morocco.

With rising urbanisation and a more hectic pace of life, consumers are now demanding for more convenient, yet healthier, food options. This has translated to increased acceptance of ready-to-eat meals and growing popularity of packaged and processed food, which are at the same time, high in nutritional and sensorial qualities.

Modern grocery distribution channels are also expanding in Morocco. By 2025, large supermarkets and hypermarkets could account for as much as 30% of food retailing in Morocco3. On the other end, online retailing is also seeing some growth as digitally-savvy consumers turn to e-retailers to order and purchase their food products. Singapore F&B companies and food manufacturers can leverage opportunities in these areas to capture a slice of the market.

3 Oxford Business Group, Rising incomes encouraging retailers in Morocco to expand online and outside major cities

There are various opportunities in the infrastructure and real estate sectors for Singaporean businesses as urbanisation takes place in Morocco. The Moroccan government has been investing billions in the country’s transport and energy infrastructure over the years, with several mega projects emerging.

These mega projects include Ouarzazate Solar Power Station, the world’s largest solar plant, and Al-Boraq, a high-speed rail service that currently runs between Casablanca and Tangier. Both projects are slated for further expansion.

Marrakesh in particular, is seeing a high-end construction boom. In 2018, a US$100 million (S$135.6 million) project—M Avenue—saw the development of nearly 108,000 square feet of gardens and landscaped areas alongside 183,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries and hotels—including names such as Pestana and the Four Seasons4.

Singapore businesses in real estate development can find good investment prospects in Morocco today. The growth of high-end resorts and hotels also signal opportunities for service providers, who will likely see demand for their expertise as more of such projects are completed.

Other projects include further improving the internal and external connectivity of Morocco – including the expansion of Morocco’s road networks, construction of Casablanca’s second tramline (with potential plans to increase the tram network to up to seven lines) and further development of the Kingdom’s port infrastructure.

Beyond infrastructure, the government has also been focusing on real estate development, to meet the housing needs of its growing city population and address the housing deficit challenge.

4 Building boom lures visitors to Morocco’s ‘Red City’, Business Times, 20th August 2018

The retail sector in Morocco is flourishing thanks to the rising affluence of Moroccan consumers. This sector is estimated to account for 12% of Morocco’s gross domestic product (GDP), and hires around 13% of Morocco’s labour force.

According to World Bank figures, GDP per capita has risen from US$1,322 (S$1,793) to US$2,883 (S$3,909) between 2000 and 20165. The increase in consumers’ disposable incomes drives demand for international lifestyle and clothing brands, and F&B chains. In 2017, AT Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index ranked Morocco seventh out of 30 countries in attractiveness for retail development. Just the year before, the country was in 14th place.

Notably, increased internet penetration has also contributed to the growth of online shopping, a key lever for the sector’s growth. Under the Department of Trade and Industry’s Rawaj Vision 2020 plan, the government seeks to modernise the retail segment, with the goal of increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP to 15% by 20206. This makes it a prime opportunity for Singapore companies strong in e-commerce to share their know-how with merchants in Morocco.

Along with the rise of e-commerce, modern electronic payment systems have also expanded. About 11 million bank cards were issued in 2015, and numbers are expected to grow by 11% per year from 2015 to 2020. This suggests a potential rise in digital transactions, which Singapore’s fintech and financial services companies may be in good position to provide services on.

5 Oxford Business Group, Rising incomes encouraging retailers in Morocco to expand online and outside major cities, 2018
6 Oxford Business Group, Morocco’s retail sector driven by urbanisation and rising household consumption

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MARKET PROFILE - MOZAMBIQUE

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

Are you a foreign company thinking of setting up a presence in CHINA? You have chosen an ideal location as CHINA is known to be one of the easiest places to do business. Here is a guide on where to find the information to help speed up your move to CHINA.

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

To stay updated on Ghana market information and insights, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

Contact us for in-market services (Incorporation and Legal Services, Tax and Accounting, Immigration and Human Resources, Market Access, Property Deals, co-working spaces, Industrial Parks)

MARKET PROFILE - South Africa

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

Are you a foreign company thinking of setting up a presence in CHINA? You have chosen an ideal location as CHINA is known to be one of the easiest places to do business. Here is a guide on where to find the information to help speed up your move to CHINA.

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

To stay updated on Ghana market information and insights, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

Contact us for in-market services (Incorporation and Legal Services, Tax and Accounting, Immigration and Human Resources, Market Access, Property Deals, co-working spaces, Industrial Parks)

MARKET PROFILE - KENYA

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

Are you a foreign company thinking of setting up a presence in CHINA? You have chosen an ideal location as CHINA is known to be one of the easiest places to do business. Here is a guide on where to find the information to help speed up your move to CHINA.

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

To stay updated on Ghana market information and insights, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

Contact us for in-market services (Incorporation and Legal Services, Tax and Accounting, Immigration and Human Resources, Market Access, Property Deals, co-working spaces, Industrial Parks)

MARKET PROFILE - CAMEROON

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

Are you a foreign company thinking of setting up a presence in CHINA? You have chosen an ideal location as CHINA is known to be one of the easiest places to do business. Here is a guide on where to find the information to help speed up your move to CHINA.

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

To stay updated on Ghana market information and insights, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

Contact us for in-market services (Incorporation and Legal Services, Tax and Accounting, Immigration and Human Resources, Market Access, Property Deals, co-working spaces, Industrial Parks)

MARKET PROFILE - KENYA

Population (2017): 27.5 million
GDP (2017): US$47.0 billion (S$63.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 120
Bilateral Trade with CHINA (2017): S$262.4 million

WHY GHANA

Are you a foreign company thinking of setting up a presence in CHINA? You have chosen an ideal location as CHINA is known to be one of the easiest places to do business. Here is a guide on where to find the information to help speed up your move to CHINA.

In 2017, Ghana’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$262.4 million. As there are already ongoing trade relations, Singapore businesses are in a good position to partner with Ghanaian counterparts. In both countries, the private sector shares similar interests in oil and gas, as well as export businesses.

Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, one of the highest in West Africa1. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.

Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.

Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion2 (S$27 billion). The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom3.

1 “Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018” IT News Africa, 4 May 2018
2 “Ghana Market Update – September 2011”, Intercontinental Bank (UK)
3 The Heritage Foundation, 2018

According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 20114.

Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.



4 “Keep calm and carry on: A strong and stable democracy has been built over the years”, Oxford Business Group.

Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth5. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.

The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.

Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.

5 “Ghana’s vision 2020, 7-Year Development Plan” GhanaWeb, 5 August 2014.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, Ghana produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Ghana’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$2.66 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of crude petroleum in 2016.

At present, Ghana has over 36,000 km2 and 103,600 km2 of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.

New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost Ghana’s oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services6.

Oil and gas companies from Singapore are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed, in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.

To stay updated on Ghana market information and insights, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

6 “Ghana’s Oil Industry: Steady growth in a challenging environment”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, April 2018.

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country. It covers 225.7 km2, and has a population of 2.4 million in 2018. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network classifies Accra as a Gamma level city, which indicates a steadily growing level of global influence and interconnectedness1.

Accra is the centre of Ghana’s financial and commercial sectors. Other businesses in Accra include chemicals, fishing, food processing, lumber and plywood supplies, and textiles. The central business district holds most of the city’s major banks, and is a consumer retail hub. Ghana’s government bodies cluster in an area of the city referred to as the Ministries.

Tourism is a growing source of business in Accra, for local artisans, as well as travel guides. Makola Market is a retail hub that’s also enjoyed by tourists, while more history-minded tourists frequent Jamestown. The Kwame Nkrumah Park and Mausoleum, dedicated to Ghana’s first leader, is also a popular draw. Accra has preserved some of its architecture from the 19th century, when Ghana was colonised by the Dutch and British, a draw for historically minded tourists2.

Ghana as a key Business Centre – Most foreign businesses set up at least an office in Accra. The city affords immediate proximity to major banks and the government offices. Kotoka International Airport is also located here, making it easy to fly in and out of the country.

1 “Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2018)” Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2018
2 “Accra Architecture and Neighborhoods Tour Including Jamestown”, Lonely Planet

Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for Singapore businesses.

Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion (S$3.06 billion) worth of cocoa beans in 2016.

Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.

Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.

 

The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.

Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$97 million (S$131 million) from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.

In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.

In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Singapore tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.

1 CIA World Factbook, July 2016

 

Ghana is one of the newest oil producing countries in Africa, with production commencing in 2010. Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.

Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Singaporean firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.

Ghana’s ongoing oil and gas projects include:

  • A West-East pipeline from Accra to Tema
  • A second gas processing plant
  • Expansions to boost production of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
  • The Osagyefo Power Barge
  • The Tema LNG project
  • Development of the Atuabo sea port, slated to be Ghana’s third major port

These ongoing efforts present numerous investment opportunities, as well as room for business collaboration.

In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.

Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.

The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.

GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Singaporeans who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.

Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.

2 Ghana Tourism Authority

Contact us for in-market services (Incorporation and Legal Services, Tax and Accounting, Immigration and Human Resources, Market Access, Property Deals, co-working spaces, Industrial Parks)

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