Take advantage of conducive environment to transform industrial sector – Trade Minister
Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten has urged the private sector to take advantage of the current conducive environment to transform the industrial sector in Ghana.
Addressing the opening session of the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition 2019 on Tuesday, Mr Kyeremanten said government in the last few years did everything to ensure that all the fundamentals needed to spur competitive growth such as macro-economic stability and fiscal incentives were in place.
He said the various initiatives and incentives by the government were aimed at creating an environment, where businesses could thrive, adding that it was an exciting time for industry.
However, Mr Kyerematen said ensuring a competitive industrial sector was a joint responsibility of government and the private sector and advised the private sector to find ways of engaging the government regarding the implementation of the various programmes.
“Identify the gaps and inform the government to take the appropriate measures,” he said and urged the private sector to audit the existing fiscal incentives to enable them take advantage.
The Minister said government was also taking steps to enhance access to finance through the Ghana Exim Bank and in the process of refocusing the operations of the National Investment Bank to become and industrial bank.
There is also work on industrial infrastructure such as land banks, while various programmes and agreements were in place to enhance access to markets within the West Africa sub-region and beyond.
Mr Kyeremanten called on private sector to adopt cutting-edge technology to enhance operations and productivity.
Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, the President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said business thrived on policies, networking and sharing of ideas and experiences.
He said the projections that intra-African trade under the Continental Free Trade would have increased from 15 percent to 52 percent by 2020, implied bigger market and stiffer competition.
He called on Government to quicken its pace on the Industrial Transformation Agenda through dedicated policies and inventiveness to bolster the growth of the Ghanaian economy, which was crucial to strengthening local industry.
He said any effort by Government to build local industry must go alongside improving the country’s macro-economic fundamentals, trade facilitation and infrastructural deficits otherwise Ghana risked losing the gains in strengthening industry.
Dr Adu Gyamfi said: “While we work towards improving local production capacity, the areas of comparative advantage that we have as a country should be our immediate focus.”
He said salt production, aluminium chain, oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals were few areas worth considering, adding that, from years of practice, the Ghanaian pharmaceutical products were most preferred brands in the sub-region.
He said science and technology were also critical drivers for the country’s competitiveness and accelerated industrial growth, adding that admittedly, the country had not leveraged technology and applied sciences sufficiently to enhance competitiveness.
Dr Adu Gyamfi said it was important that the country fully integrated technology and applied sciences into industrial processes, adding that the standard and expectations of the industry in the modern world were being driven by competition faced from the global economy.
He said there was a need to rethink how business was done daily to ensure alignment with trends in technology in order to remain relevant to the global economy.
Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, urged local businesses to register with the Centre to be able to benefit from the incentives on offer.
He also called on them to explore partnerships to enable them to grow their businesses.
The three-day Summit organised by the AGI and the Volta River Authority is on the theme: “Strengthening Ghanaian Industries for Global Competitiveness.”