The Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) is seeking to administer hefty sanctions to businesses that fail to register their technology agreement.
The sanctions, according to the center will be tough and strongly enforced and could see the investment agency liaising with the Bank of Ghana to suspend remittances by companies that do not have relevant TTA registration and certification.
The Head of Legal Division at GIPC, Naa Lamley Orleans-Lindsey, who was speaking at the 1st CEO’s Breakfast Meeting this year, said, aside from fines, there are going other options open to the center such as the suspension of registration and ordering and repayment of any incentive that’s been extended to companies.
A TTA is an agreement entered into by two entities when foreign firms or enterprises transfer their technology, expertise, know-how, or facilities to their Ghanaian counterpart or partner.
Under GIPC Act 865, all such agreements must be reviewed and registered by the GIPC, the sole agency that is responsible to monitor such activities in the country.
Failure of businesses to adhere to their TTA requirement could create an avenue for tax evasion, money, money laundering as well as facilitate the illegal exportation of currency and capital flight.
The illegal practice also engenders cedi depreciation, which could be induced bankers to compromise breaches of processes and procedures and with adverse impact on the country’s foreign reserves.
The meeting was on the theme “Technology Transfer Agreements: Eligibility, Compliance & Liabilities,” and was geared toward sensitization of the investor and business communities on GIPC’s TTA registration.
Together with key partners such as the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Bank of Ghana, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the discussions were centered on issues relating to TTA applications.
It also highlighted the benefits of TTAs to both foreign and local businesses.
In Ghana, TTAs are entered into by two entities, usually a parent company abroad and its local subsidiary or associate company which is domiciled locally.
Accordingly, a contractual relationship is entered into which defines how the parent company transfers its technology, expertise, know-how, etc. to an entity within the country.
According to law, the provisions of every technology transfer agreement in Ghana must conform to and be governed by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 2013 (Act 865).
As such, the GIPC is an agency of the Ghanaian government responsible for among others, the registration and monitoring of all TTAs in Ghana.
“Registering a Technology Transfer Agreement with the GIPC is essential for protecting innovation and imperative for the facilitation of technology dissemination,” said Naa Lamle Orleans-Lindsay, Head of the Legal Division at the GIPC, in stressing the importance of TTAs.
The first quarter CEO’s Breakfast Meeting was the first of four breakfast sessions that will be organized by the GIPC this year, to facilitate discourse on essential topics for the Ghanaian business and investor community.