Complex regulatory compliance exposes foreign investors to corruption – Report

The Ghana Netherlands Business Culture Council(GNBCC) in collaboration with Imani Africa have disclosed that complex regulatory compliance exposes foreign investors to corruption.

In a report titled ‘Reviewing Current Economic and Investment Challenges and Opportunities in Ghana , ‘ the institutions said most of the businesses interviewed in the course of producing the report disclosed a strong disagreement about the supportiveness of regulatory institutions.

The report said the businesses indicated a negative experience in their interface with regulatory officers.

The institutions however advised the government to streamline regulatory compliance processes and deepen digitization in public service to address investors’ exposure to corruption.

The report said, ‘High regulatory and compliance cost is identified as one of the key cost components for the firms, and the less synchronization of regulatory and permit processes leads to firms paying extra costs through unofficial channels.

‘Thus, the government
must deepen the existing e-government services to ensure that the services are delivered efficiently and reduce the cost of compliance. This will help to reduce the bureaucratic interference of public agencies in the activities of investors, ‘ the report said.

The report also revealed serious challenges which were affecting foreign investors’ operations in Ghana.

The challenges included cost of utitlities, high cost of import and export duties and fees.

The report urged the government to review the existing tax regime; given that the existing macroeconomic challenges had already increased the cost of doing business for investors.

The report advised the government to review and align the tax frameworks to minimize the incidence of ‘duplicating taxes’ that make it expensive for businesses to operate in Ghana.

‘ Reducing the tax burden on businesses is crucial to making the firms competitive and increasing FDI attraction. Furthermore, the government must engage foreign investors to enhance their understandi
ng of the tax administration system and how they can use the electronic platforms to their advantage. For instance, the government must provide capacity building on how firms can access tax exemption available in the provisions, ‘ the report said.

The report further advised the government to Collaborate with business chambers to regularly understand the challenges of investors.

The report advised the government to Increase investors’ access to information on support programmes available since Limited access to information was identified as one of the obstacles to doing business in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency