Public Investment Policy in the offing

UK PIXThe government has begun the process to formulate a public investment policy to guide the country’s investment programmes.

The policy would ensure the alignment of public and private investment to Ghana’s medium and long term development goals.

Speaking to Times Business on the sidelines of an executive breakfast meeting organised by the First Atlantic Bank in collaboration with the British High Commission, Mrs. Magdalene Apenteng, Director, Public Investment Division, and Ministry of Finance said the policy which is expected to be ready by the end of this year said the policy would help in identifying a pool of priority projects for the country.

The meeting among others sought to identify what infrastructure opportunities/projects exist in Ghana, assess the obstacles to investing in viable infrastructure projects and discuss financing options in market

She said the policy would ensure the continuity of projects because funding and other necessary arrangements would be made to ensure that a change of government would not affect the continuation or execution of the priority projects.

“The policy would increase coordination between public and private investment, including public private partnerships,” she said.

In his speech, the UK Minister of Trade and Industry, Lord Livingston said to be successful in attracting more investment from the UK, the government must create the right regulatory environment and a sense of certainty.

“Businesses cannot cope with uncertainty. If they think when they invest today, things will change tomorrow, it makes things worse. This is unfortunately the situation in many countries,” he said.

Mr. Livingston said, “Uncertainty destroys confidence and increases risks. Risk also increases the required rate of returns which leads to a high cost of investment. That is the reason why many governments over the world are unable to attract investors consistently.”

He said the UK investment was more geared towards partnerships — Private Public Partnership (PPP).

Two-thirds of investment in the UK in 2013 he said was from public private partnerships (PPPs) along the lines of capital funding and joint ventures for energy.

He said the UK was looking at how to invest through partnerships towards the development of Ghana.

Ghana he said could gain expertise from PPPs with the UK and use the expertise to market itself as the hub for infrastructure development in Africa.

“Ghana has huge potentials but things have to be done well to attract and sustain investment. Ghana has to be the hub for business in Africa in view of its resources and central location. Ghana can bounce back,” he said.

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