The total value of exports à under the Free Zones Programme since its inception in 1996 now stands at $30.9 billion, out of which $2.6 billion was recorded in 2016 alone.
The amount was realised by the 201 licensed companies operating under the programme, comprising 82 non-Ghanaian businesses, 63 joint ventures, and 56 wholly indigenous owned businesses.
Addressing journalists at the launch of the maiden “Investment Week” in Accra, Executive Secretary of the GFZB, Michael Okyere Baafi, indicated that his outfit is working to lure more Ghanaian investors onto the programme.
He said: “We appreciate the many foreign direct investments into the country but we have the conviction that many more Ghanaians have the capacity and resources to venture into export-oriented business activities.”
According to Mr. Okyere Baafi, one critical target area to rope in more Ghanaian entrepreneurs onto the scheme is the government’s one district, one factory programme.
“We are working towards facilitating the operations of export oriented companies yet to be established in furtherance of government’s policy on one district, one factory.
The Free Zones regulations give us the flexibility to license export-oriented companies that locate outside the declared and designated Free Zone areas; we can, therefore, reach out to all the districts,” he indicated.
The Ghana Free Zones Programme was established by the Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504) with the core objective to promote economic development through the attraction of local and foreign direct investments, promotion of export diversification and enhancing the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
It is also mandated to provide business opportunities for local and foreign investors by way of joint ventures, the enhancement of technical and management skills of Ghanaians as well as the promotion of technology transfer.