IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced on Wednesday that it would work with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC); Government; key regulators and the private sector to promote leasing as an alternative source of financing for smaller businesses.
A release from the IFC Ghana Office on Thursday said GIPC and IFC would bring together policy makers, industry leaders, leasing companies, small and medium enterprises, financiers and key regulators to discuss policy issues and opportunities associated with leasing.
The Ghana Leasing Forum, which is being held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, would be attended by investors in seven key sectors of Ghana's economy; petroleum and mining services; tourism; infrastructure; agriculture and agri-business; information and communications technology; manufacturing and financial services.
Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, CEO of GIPC said: "The Ghana Leasing Forum is exploring issues such as new sources of leasing equipment, which sectors and industries stand to benefit, policy issues, and corporate strategies to help investors.
It will emphasize new opportunities and challenges for investors, evolution of global value chains and business linkages, and how local entrepreneurs can benefit.
" IFC's research shows that Ghana's leasing industry is rapidly expanding.
Between 2006 and 2007, the value of new leases in Ghana increased from nearly 31.
5 million dollars to over 93 million dollars, while the number of new lease contracts signed increased from 536 to 1,381.
Mr Imoni Akpofure, IFC Country Manager in Ghana, said: "Leasing is an important tool for smaller businesses that often do not have the track record, collateral, or expertise to obtain term financing from banks.
The Ghana Leasing Forum will create an opportunity for regulators and private businesses to come together to discuss how to better support this important sector.
" Since 2006, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has been supporting IFC's work to promote leasing in Ghana through the SECO IFC Leasing Programme.
"This forum is useful to enhance policy discussions and decisions, raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in leasing as a financial instrument, and bring together industry players for mutual benefit," Mr Nicolas Lang, Switzerland's Ambassador to Ghana, said.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
It fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
Its new investments totalled 16.
2 billion dollars in fiscal 2008, a 34 per cent increase over the previous year.