Mr Speaker, I have with interest followed the debate on the proposition articulated by the Chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry and Tourism. Mr Speaker, permit me to state that Ghana is not the only place to do business.
The intention of this legislation is to make Ghana relatively competitive and as a destination of choice. Therefore, in any decision that we must be guided that we do not want that investor to decide
tomorrow that he prefers to invest in Rwanda or in Benin, or in Mali rather than in Ghana. And therefore, in determining the figure, policy recommendation was for even US$50,000 because under PNDC Law 116, the minimum capital requirement was reduced from US$60,000 to
For commercial or trading activities involving purchasing or selling of goods, the minimum requirement was pecked at US$300,000 and today, that has been increased to one million dollars and that is a significant increase. Now, at the time and I am sure I stated this during the Second Reading -- Ghana today, is not Ghana yesterday.
With our democratic credentials very secured, investment climate, the management of the economy whether we like it or not, has improved over the years. But ultimately, we want to make Ghana a relatively competitive place to do business, not just in Africa but in the world. So, I would plead with Colleagues, in pegging the figure, we might be mindful of two things.
One, we want to attract foreign direct investment. Part of the germane of this Bill is to get local participation in the investment drive of this country.
We should not close the opportunities for them. For instance, if we say two hundred thousand, if you read further down, there is a requirement of 30 per cent equity. So, we are stating that for joint ventures, you must necessarily have a Ghanaian participate in that particular activity and transaction. That used not to be the case, so, we are getting somewhere.
For those businesses that we decided that it must remain Ghanaian, maybe, I just shared the example of retail trading, we eventually noticed that I am relating clause 27 to clause 26, that our retail markets, whether Kumasi market,Accra or where-
ever, was being flooded now with foreigners taking over retail businesses. And Mr Speaker, I would use foreigners here appropriately without referring to a particular country. You now see some foreigners -- Our women used to travel to some foreign countries to bring some goods to sell.
Today, they travel themselves, hold their bags in their armpits, forgive my language, and they do, the petty trading that our Ghanaian women used to do, denying them of their bread, denying them of economic activity.
So, the decision was that, make it the exclusive preserve of Ghanaians, that petty trading can only be done by Ghanaians. In respect of clause 27, we are increasing what used to pertain in 1994, maybe, from ten thousand today to hundred or two hundred thousand, from three hundred thousand to one million and I think that we can start that for now.
This is because ultimately, our objective is to carry Ghanaians on board, even as we search for foreign direct investment and we should agree to figures that our own Ghanaian counterparts may be able to quote; maybe I will share this practical examples. I would invite my Colleague Opare-Ansah to pay attention. When we decided in communication to issue --