The Gambia Welcomes UNCTAD’s Recommendations to Improve the Investment Climate

High-level government officials, private sector representatives and development partners participated in the presentation of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review (IPR) of the Gambia in Banjul on 11 April 2017. The report, prepared at the Government’s request, presents action-oriented recommendations to improve the Gambia’s legal framework for investment, as well as its approach to promoting foreign investment in the country.

While recognizing that the environment in the Gambia is generally open to investment, the report highlights that the country’s potential remains largely untapped. Improving the environment, the report says, requires clearer provisions and more effective implementation for the laws governing business in the country, and strengthened capacities for government institutions, especially for the task of putting in place a prioritized and focused investment promotion strategy.

“The IPR is timely and the new Government requires visibility to attract new investments,” said Naffie Barry, Permanent Secretary of the Gambia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, adding that the ministry is determined to implement the IPR’s recommendations to address the supply-side constraints that hinder economic activity in the country.

During the presentation, Chantal Dupasquier, Chief of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review Section, emphasized the role that foreign direct investment (FDI) can play in helping the Gambia achieve its development objectives if appropriate policies are put in place to foster a vibrant private sector.

“Clarity, stability and predictability are key words for investors”, Ms. Dupasquier said.

Other policy challenges include further streamlining the process to formally register a business, reforming tax laws, improving access to land, and addressing constraints that impede trade. The report also discusses issues related to the labour market, competition policy and law, and access to justice — critical areas where reforms could improve the business environment.

UNCTAD´s Investment Policy Reviews provide an objective evaluation of a country´s legal, regulatory and institutional framework for attracting increased foreign direct investment, as well as recommendation how to maximize the benefits from it.

To date, UNCTAD has completed over 45 IPRs in developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition. It has supported many of them in their reform processes with technical assistance activities.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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The Gambia Welcomes UNCTAD’s Recommendations to Improve the Investment Climate

High-level government officials, private sector representatives and development partners participated in the presentation of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review (IPR) of the Gambia in Banjul on 11 April 2017. The report, prepared at the Government’s request, presents action-oriented recommendations to improve the Gambia’s legal framework for investment, as well as its approach to promoting foreign investment in the country.

While recognizing that the environment in the Gambia is generally open to investment, the report highlights that the country’s potential remains largely untapped. Improving the environment, the report says, requires clearer provisions and more effective implementation for the laws governing business in the country, and strengthened capacities for government institutions, especially for the task of putting in place a prioritized and focused investment promotion strategy.

“The IPR is timely and the new Government requires visibility to attract new investments,” said Naffie Barry, Permanent Secretary of the Gambia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, adding that the ministry is determined to implement the IPR’s recommendations to address the supply-side constraints that hinder economic activity in the country.

During the presentation, Chantal Dupasquier, Chief of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review Section, emphasized the role that foreign direct investment (FDI) can play in helping the Gambia achieve its development objectives if appropriate policies are put in place to foster a vibrant private sector.

“Clarity, stability and predictability are key words for investors”, Ms. Dupasquier said.

Other policy challenges include further streamlining the process to formally register a business, reforming tax laws, improving access to land, and addressing constraints that impede trade. The report also discusses issues related to the labour market, competition policy and law, and access to justice — critical areas where reforms could improve the business environment.

UNCTAD´s Investment Policy Reviews provide an objective evaluation of a country´s legal, regulatory and institutional framework for attracting increased foreign direct investment, as well as recommendation how to maximize the benefits from it.

To date, UNCTAD has completed over 45 IPRs in developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition. It has supported many of them in their reform processes with technical assistance activities.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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GNPC Operating Services Company (“GOSCO”) and Lloyd’s Register to deliver services to Ghana

Lloyd’s Register has signed an agreement with GOSCO, to form a joint venture dedicated to providing well project management, well engineering and associated site survey, geotechnical and rig inspection services, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ghana.

The aim of the joint venture company, known as ‘Lloyd’s Register Wells Ghana Limited’, is to make available world-class engineering and operations, risk management and performance solutions to support operators deliver safe, cost-effective and compliant E&P activity.

Matt Rothnie, Vice-President for the Wells business at Lloyd’s Register, says: “We have joined forces with GOSCO to set up this joint venture as a response to growing industry interest in Ghana’s oil and gas potential along with the requirement to build capability in the Ghanaian E&P sector. This move is another example of Lloyd’s Register’s strategy to work in partnership with local oil and gas players to benefit from their local experience whilst providing the benefit of Lloyd’s Register’s global knowledge and technical expertise.” The new joint venture will be an indigenous Ghanaian company and based in Accra.

The potential impact of new discoveries on the Ghanaian economy has led to phenomenal interest in Ghana’s petroleum sector both locally and internationally. Amidst the excitement, the key development objective of the government of Ghana remains focused on the growth of the economy to accelerate development and industrialization; the oil and gas industry is proven to contribute significantly to strong growth in producing countries.

However, the discovery of oil in commercial quantities poses a number of challenges that must be addressed. Key of which is the need to establish a robust regulatory framework and institutional capacity in key areas of governance for effective management and oversight of the sector. This is because prudent management and policing of the sector has a significant impact on socio-economic development.

Rothnie highlights: “We believe this joint venture will create good long-term opportunities for Ghana’s E&P industry as we look to collectively achieve the highest levels of safety and performance providing the very latest ‘know-how’ and application of technology for well operations.”

Michael Amoah, CFO of GOSCO says: “We are very pleased to have formed our joint venture with Lloyds Register; we see real opportunities in key aspects of the upstream value chain for joint ventures which bring together the operational experience of Ghanaian companies with the niche high quality skills of an international partner.”

Scottish Development International, the Scottish government’s international arm, helped Lloyd’s Register in the joint venture development.

Gary Soper, Africa Regional Manager for Scottish Development International says: “Working from our West Africa hub in Accra, Ghana, we are well placed to introduce West African companies to Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain to access collaborative opportunities in the region. We are very pleased to see Lloyd’s Register forge this relationship with GOSCO in Ghana and help to develop their plans for current and future African oil and gas fields. Lloyd’s Register has a long tradition and experience in resolving and sharing solutions to complex commercial situations that can only help to bring benefits to the emerging oil and gas markets across the continent, especially at this critical time of low oil prices and the need for quality, independent cost-effective safety and performance solutions.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Regional industrialisation: when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Between 1992 and 2013, Uganda reduced the proportion of people living in poverty by over half and has registered a strong growth performance, accompanied by a rapid reduction in poverty rates. However, the country’s economic growth has not been sufficiently inclusive and did not generate enough job opportunities for the young and rapidly growing population.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) argues that Uganda, like other African countries, needs to foster a higher level of industrial development to drive its economic transformation.

Speaking at a High-Level Policy Dialogue on promoting sustainable industrialisation in Uganda, Andrew Mold, the acting Director of ECA in Eastern Africa said that a sub-regional approach to industrial development is likely to result in a significantly faster rate of industrialisation than would be the case if the process is undertaken on an individual country-by-country basis.

The Kampala High-Level meeting discussed the need to draw lessons from high income as well as low-income countries that have successfully adopted industrialisation strategies. Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, the Minister and Special Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, who delivered a keynote address, showcased the example of Ethiopia, emphasizing the need to invest more in modernizing agriculture.

“If the growth has to be inclusive, it has to focus on the sector where a large part of the population is. That is agriculture”, said Oqubay .

In his address, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said that such dialogue provides an opportunity for sharing experiences for enhancing Ugandan industrialisation efforts. “Uganda is ready to listen from the experts and to realise the promises of green growth”, he said.

Mold explained that the building of robust regional markets in Africa could unlock the manufacturing potential of Eastern Africa: “Countries such as Uganda can target the regional markets of the five countries of East African Community (EAC) as buyers of its manufactured products, as well as providers of inputs for its own production”, Mold told the participants.

The EAC Industrial Policy (2012) is supportive of a market-based approach rather than state interventionism, focusing on a few strategic subsectors: agro-processing, agro-chemicals, mineral processing, pharmaceuticals, petro-chemicals and bio-fuels. Those sectors could be developed through intra-regional investments to promote the emergence of regional value-chains.

Uganda’s manufacturing sector today plays a limited role in the economy. Recent growth in the economy at large has been concentrated in the service sector. Over the period 2000-2014, manufacturing’s contribution to GDP growth amounted to just 8 percent, compared to 30 percent related to the service sector. “The lack of dynamism in the manufacturing sector is a common problem across Africa,” said Mold.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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