Exporting to Ghana

The UK and Ghana share a common business language, the same time zone for half the year and good flight connections.

Links with the UK

Ghana sees the UK as a trusted partner for culture, tourism, education and business, and views the UK’s goods and services positively. Major companies in Ghana include Standard Chartered, Vodafone, Tullow Oil, British Airways, G4S, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Unilever and Diageo.

Economic and population growth

Ghana is developing as a regional hub. It allows 100% foreign ownership of businesses (with capital requirements) and has free zones where goods traded with other countries are exempt from customs duties. Ghana’s population is 29.6 million and increasing by 2.1% per year (FCO, 2019). Its middle class is small, but growing.

Government economic vision

Ghana’s government has set out a forward-looking plan for industrialisation and economic diversification. This includes stimulating private sector investment in key manufacturing sectors, infrastructure and mining. Increased oil and gas exploration and production is also helping to boost the economy.

Ease of doing business

118th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2020)

Currency

Cedi

Business language

English

GDP per capita

$2,223

UK is $41,030 (IMF, 2019)

Economic growth

6.3%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT +0

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Ghana have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors

Doing business in Ghana

Preparing to export

Taxation

The UK and Ghana have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Ghana, provided certain conditions are met.

Corporate tax

Company tax rates vary depending on sector, location and whether the company is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Regulations

Ghanaian business and legal systems are similar to those in the UK. There are many regulatory laws and acts that provide a framework in which businesses can operate. These are regulated by a number of different agencies in the country, including:

  • Registrar General’s Department
  • Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
  • Ghana Immigration Service
  • Ghana Revenue Authority
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Ghana Free Zones Board
  • Petroleum Commission
  • Minerals Commission

Operating in Ghana

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property (IP) lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

Payment terms

You should not accept cheques or credit card payments for goods, especially if you have not worked with the contact before.

When you’re sure the buyer is trustworthy, make sure they have paid you before you dispatch any goods. Ask for cash up front or an irrevocable letter of credit that has been reconfirmed by a bank in the UK.

Challenges

UK businesses should be wary of scams that aim to trick foreign companies into bogus deals. Contact our team in Ghana if you’re in any doubt about the trustworthiness of business contacts.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.