Deputy Superintendent of Ghana Immigration Service (DSI)
As the representative of the Ghana Immigration Service on International assignment in Madrid, I had the approval of the Embassy of Ghana and the Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr. Kwame Asuah Takyi, to engage the Captains of the industries on the smooth immigration processes that the GIS seeks to provide as part of its support to the Government of Ghana initiatives to open up the economy of Ghana and the hospitable environment of national security to investors.
I provided adequate information frequently asked by potential investors and travelers to Ghana which included the value Ghana places national security and the smooth stress-free process of visas that the GIS especially with the provision of emergency entry visas for purposes such as these to enable business owners explore investment opportunities that Ghana offers without much stress. Information provided included requirements for entry visas, residence and employment permits, immigration laws and regulations in Ghana for business owners before, during and after arrival in Ghana.
The gathering was also briefed on re-entry visas (single and multiple) which are uniquely issued to travelers in Ghana who after exploring the open market and investment windows would want to return to Ghana within the shortest possible time after their arrival into Ghana to establish permanently and grow their business. This visa is issued before the departure of the potential investor from Ghana for a period of three (3) to six (6) months.
Benefits to Ghana
The Ghana Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, His Excellency Muhammad Adam outlined some benefits that Ghana can achieve through this partnership. He said, Ghana is described as a priority country in the Focus Africa 2023 Plan together with some other countries of which Strategic attention can be focused on specified sectors including agro-business development, water, sanitation and waste management, engineering and consulting, energy with particular emphasis on renewable energies, transport infrastructure, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and digital transformation, amongst others.
The ‘Focus Africa 2023 Plan’ provides for specific measures to boost financial mechanisms in support of the investment of Spanish companies in Africa. This includes the leveraging of multinational, European Union, and European Investment Bank financial resources. There is also a commitment of institutional support to Spanish economic operators as well as the mobilization of the private sector for engagement with Africa.
Benefits to Spain
According to the Ghana Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, this cooperation will provide more partnership for the promotion of Spanish trade, business and investment presence in Africa. It will offer a more strategic framework for Spain’s foreign policy action in Africa detailing its specific engagements with various countries. Spanish companies are expected to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Ghana through this bilateral and institutional arrangement, to increase their business presence and investment operations in Ghana. The Focus Africa 2023 Plan defines Spain’s actions in support of its partnership with Africa and the development of the continent as an implementation programme of the Third Plan Africa under the theme “Spain and Africa a challenge and opportunity”.
Spanish companies have made positive impact in other parts of the world and no doubt have a lot to offer in the neighbouring continent, with which it shares land borders. Spain is the closest European country to Africa geographically. Indeed, part of Spain, Canary Islands which is the 7th of the 19 autonomous regions of Spain in terms of population, is geographically located in Africa, the Ambassador emphasized.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong called on Spanish Industry players to begin considering Ghana as their destination point for investments in Africa. He said, Ghana has a number of pivotal projects running such as the One District One Factory, Agenda 111, which can be attractive to potential investors visa-vi the arrival of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFTCA) which has chosen Ghana as its central seat for Africa and beyond. This indicates that, investment in Ghana would not only boost the economy of Ghana and Africa, but would deepen further bilateral and multi-lateral relations between Ghana, Africa and the Kingdom of Spain.
The President of the CEOE, Ms Marta Blanco expressed the organization’s optimism and readiness to kick start the ‘Focus Africa 2023 Plan’ through such engagements, business opportunities, trade, tourism, Investments and global digitization.
Also speaking at the CEOE business forum was the Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, His Excellency Javier Gutiérrez Blanco-Navarrete, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), Mr. Yoofi Grant, the International Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jaime Montalvo, and the General Director of International Trade and Investment, Spain, Ms. Alicia Valera.
The Spain-Ghana Business Forum which was jointly organized under the leadership of the Ghana Embassy in Spain and the CEOE which brought together Members of the Diplomatic Corp including the Ambassadors and representatives from the Embassies including US Embassy, Cuba, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cambia, Coté D’Ivoire, Republic of Congo, Kenya, South África, Tunisia and some Members of the Ghanaian Community in Spain.
Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales, CEOE, (Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations) is a Spanish institution founded in June 1977 that represents the Spanish business community. It includes state-owned and private companies in all sectors and also a member of Business Europe. The forum is a follow-up to the launch ‘Focus Africa 2023 Plan’ by the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during the official state visit of the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo to the Kingdom in March 2021.
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