Prof. Joe Nellis, the Deputy Dean of the School of Management, Cranfield University, UK, has advised government to consider attracting more foreign investments to the country as one of the post-COVID-19 recovery strategies to shore up the economy.
Speaking at a virtual public lecture organised by the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) on the topic “Prospects for the Global Economy in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Crisis”, Prof. Nellis stated that the pandemic has hit many investments in parts of the world including Ghana, and now is the time for massive support and investments in developing countries like Ghana to boost productivity.
Regarding a recovery strategy particularly for Ghana, he said: “I think it has to rely on foreign direct investments, and I wish it didn’t because I can be very critical of inward investments from overseas. But given the scale of investments required, there is the need to open up even more to inward investments.”
Investment, he maintained, is the engine of growth.
“That is how you increase productivity. And of course this pandemic has massively hit investment expenditure in many parts of the world including Ghana, as companies have delayed their investments. We need to stimulate that investment.”
Other suggestions he proffered to attract investment are providing tax reliefs on capital expenditure, offering deals to foreign companies, tax-free zones, free ports, corporate tax holidays, and subsidized land.
He however cautioned the country to be vigilant when brokering foreign investment deals, saying: “If a country is in trouble, the danger is you may end up doing deals that may not be the best deals in the long term.”
Noting that developing countries are more vulnerable to the global trade cycle, with their exports dependent on advanced economies, he urged African countries to develop formidable trade blocs which will help the continent negotiate better trade deals in order to build a resilient economy post-COVID.