INVESTMENT IN GHANA: Foreign Direct Investments to Africa
Singapore has been among Africa’s top 10 investor economies since 2015, as assessed by the stock of foreign direct investment. Singapore’s investments in Africa increased from USD$17 billion to USD $20 billion between 2015 and 2019, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Avoidance of Double Tax Agreement (DTA)
On March 31, 2017, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Singapore’s then-Minister of State (Trade & Industry), and Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister of Finance, signed the DTA. It was ratified on April 12, 2019, and it has been in effect since January 20, 2020.
Visa Abolition Agreement
Singaporeans do not need a visa to visit Ghana for up to 30 days. Similarly, Ghanaians visiting Singapore do not require a visa.
Singapore companies with an established presence in West Africa
Ascent Solutions Pte Ltd: Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA) will use Ascent’s end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring solution, iSPOT ECTS, to provide real-time and continuous security monitoring of trucks moving petroleum products across Ghana in 2020.
Surbana Jurong: The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority Zone, which encompasses around 130,000km2 in northern Ghana, was given the contract to build and masterplan the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority Zone in 2016. The company is working on a national housing program with the Ministry of Housing, which involves creating affordable housing in Accra.
Tee Yih Jia, a leading frozen food maker, has signed a distribution agreement with Pacific Ghana to deliver frozen spring roll skins, spring rolls, and samosas to major retail chains by the end of 2020.
SMJ Holdings – SMJ is a prominent carpet specialist that works with both commercial and industrial clients. SMJ formed a relationship with Ghanaian company Hollocome Prime in 2019 to distribute its carpet tiles in the country. Since then, the company has outfitted the new Chinese Embassy’s visa office as well as the Accra office of Ghana’s Health Insurance Company
Olam International Ltd– Olam exports cocoa, cashew, coffee, cotton, and shea nuts through its subsidiary, Olam Ghana. It is Ghana’s major cashew exporter and one of the country’s largest rice importers. Olam has a wheat flour mill and a tomato paste manufacturing and canning business in Tema
Olam opened an 18-million-dollar cookie factory in Tema in 2017. The facility was a joint venture between Olam and Sanyo Foods of Japan, and it was inaugurated by Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry Alan John Kyerematen and Singapore’s then-Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon
Wilmar Africa : Wilmar Africa Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wilmar International and one of Ghana’s most prominent agriculture firms. The firm specializes in the refining, packaging, and distribution of edible oils. The company’s major vegetable oil brand, ‘Frytol,’ was purchased from Unilever in 2010.
Apart from ‘Frytol,’ the company also produces vegetable oil for other domestic and foreign brands, including ‘Fortune,’ ‘Korie,’ and ‘Sania.’ During his visit to Ghana on November 6, 2019, Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman also opened Wilmar’s new soap and detergent factory.
Diplomatic visits and initiatives between Ghana and Singapore
On December 2020, the Bank of Ghana and the Singapore Monetary Authority began discussions to adopt the Business San Borders (BSB) open hub of platforms between Singapore and Ghana.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs in both nations would benefit from the close cooperation by increasing their connectivity with their counterpart economies and bringing innovative FinTech and digital solutions to help SMEs seamlessly complete their business demands.
Frank Okyere, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Singapore, who is headquartered in Tokyo but accredited to Singapore, visited Singapore from March 3 to 7, 2019 to present his credentials to President Halimah Yacob.
On behalf of Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, led a team to Singapore from February 10 to February 15, 2018. The purpose of the tour was to strengthen business ties in areas such as the built environment, hospitality, and fintech, among others.
(Note: Due to a last-minute scheduling change, the delegation was led by Ghana’s Finance Minister.)
From January 24 to 27, 2018, Ghana’s Petroleum Hub Task Force, led by Deputy Minister of Energy in Charge of Petroleum, Mohammed Amin Adam, visited Singapore. The Task Force planned to turn Ghana into a West African petroleum centre.
Former Ghanaian President John Kufuor visited Singapore from February 2 to 5, 2017 to witness the christening of a vessel in his honour.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was in Ghana from November 5 to 7, 2019, joined by Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Trade & Industry) Tan Wu Meng, Singapore’s Non-Resident High Commissioner to Ghana HawaziDaipi, and a Singapore business group organized by the Singapore Business Federation.
Tan Wu Meng, Singapore’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry, visited Accra, Ghana, from December 9 to 12, 2018, accompanied by Hawazi Daipi, Singapore’s Non-Resident High Commissioner to Ghana. He met with Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum; Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; and then-Deputy Minister of Works and Housing in Accra.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, the then-Minister of State for Trade and Industry, visited Ghana from March 29 to April 1, 2017. In connection with his visit, the Singapore Business Federation led a business expedition to West Africa, which included seven businesses from the urban development, construction, agricultural, trading, shipping, and oil and gas sectors.
MOS Koh met with President Nana Addo Afuko-Addo, Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley AyorkorBotchway, and Yoofi Grant, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, in Accra. He also signed the DTA between Ghana and Singapore with Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
Enterprise Singapore is the government organization in Singapore that promotes business development. In 2013, Enterprise Singapore’s Overseas Centre in Accra opened its doors to serve Singapore and African companies’ business development initiatives in the West African region.
Ms. Jean Ng, Regional Director, collaborates with her Ghanaian colleagues, Ginette and Clement, to match African businesses with the ideal Singapore partner and to provide advise to companies looking to develop into Singapore and Southeast Asian markets. The team also assists Singapore companies looking to expand into West Africa and develops partnerships between Singapore and African businesses.