The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yaw Afriyie, says the country’s investment body is looking forward to renegotiate old Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and working closely with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to have outstanding (BITs) signed and ratified to ensure it is line with international best practices.
BITs, together with other critical reforms taken by the Government, including the institution of the Business Regulatory Unit at the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the review of the Companies’ Act and the pending review of the GIPC Act, are geared toward making investing in the country more attractive and more competitive in the sub-region.
Under BITs, the parties also agree to international law standards for expropriation and compensation, free transfer of funds related to investments, fair and equitable treatment, and most-favoured-nation treatment.
Speaking at the 8th Edition of the GIPC Economic Counsellors’ Dialogue in Accra, Mr. Afriyie said “We look forward to renegotiating some of the BITs entered in the 1990s to bring them in line with current international best practices. We continue to negotiate BITs with our key partners actively. We are open to discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the possibility of engaging widely to have BITs signed and ratified.
For old generation BITs, we are committed to re-negotiations towards making them compliant with best practices and our current investment regulatory framework.”
In this fast-evolving international environment, Mr. Afriyie added it is essential to work collaboratively to devise bilateral cooperation tools that reflect the dynamics and needs of individual countries.
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are one such means, and they are an essential tool for facilitating economic growth and addressing many of the level-playing-field issues that foreign investors face when doing business.
The Head of Legal at GIPC, Naa Lamle Orleans-Lindsay, indicated that the country has ratified seven agreements and executed over a dozen with countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and Americas.
She also disclosed that under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the committee dealing with investment is seeking to harmonise the regulatory regime of trade and investment, and taxation across African continent in a bid to develop one master document about all these areas.
The eight Economic Counsellors’ Dialogue is an annual event organized by the GIPC to bring economic, commercial, and trade counsellors from diplomatic missions serving in Ghana to dialogue on issues affecting economic relations and the investment climate in Ghana.
This year’s dialogue focuses on “Bilateral Investment Treaties: Partnerships for Protecting Investments”.