Ghana is seeking substantial investments and partnership in the District Industrialisation Programme, Free Zones Development and a number of incubating industries as part of efforts to diversify the base of the economy.

The move is part of the government’s initiatives to embark on an ambitious industrialisation programme to add value to raw materials and make the country the hub of manufacturing in the West African sub-region.

A Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSIs, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who made the call, has therefore invited the German private sector to increase its investment in the country to support the country’s drive towards a middle-income status.

“Ghana indeed has a lot to learn from Germany whose technological advancement can assist Ghana in its drive towards a middle-income status.”

She said this when she opened the first ever German European Union 2008 (GEREU) exhibition at the National Theatre in Accra.

The GEREU exhibition is to afford German and European Union business interests in the country, which are also interested in doing business in West Africa, the opportunity to exhibit their products and establish business contacts so as to expand trade between Ghana and its traditional trading partner, the EU.

According to the organisers, as venue for the fair, Ghana is a testimony of the EU’s belief in the country as a real business hub for ECOWAS.

A broad segment of industries including agricultural and food processing; building and construction; industrial and production machinery, mining and energy as well as automobiles industries are exhibiting their products at the GEREU 2008 fair.

Others are transport services, telecommunications, business equipment and data processing, banking and finance and insurance. GCNet, Universal Motors, Safebond Africa Ltd, Deng Silver Star and Hospital Engineering are some of the main sponsors.

Ms Botchwey said already the ministry had initiated a number of programmes to provide technological support, quality assurance, research and development to improve the competitiveness of the private sector.

The Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, called for a private sector-government collaboration to address challenges in the business and investment climate in the country.

“Despite the relative macroeconomic stability, it is important for infrastructure to be developed regarding transport and communications, capacity building and good governance, both at the macro and firm level,” Mr Sebregondi said.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Dr Marius Haas, said his country was impressed with Ghana’s reforms in establishing a good legal framework, transparency and good governance.

He announced that the steady growth in bilateral ties between the two countries had compelled Germany to open a Delegate Office of the German Economy in Ghana, the first of such an office in sub-Sahara Africa for 30 years.

Dr Haas said the German government was not only interested in attracting new investments to Ghana “but also doing everything possible to keep existing investments in the country”.

The President of the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA), Mr. Stephen Antwi, said the fair would be a showcase of quality and standards to support the country’s industrial base.

“The Ghanaian economic scenery is changing as it offers a market in which consumers are spending money for high quality products; Ghana is gradually developing into a market with high end products,” Mr. Antwi said.

He said the objective was, therefore, to establish GEREU as the premier trade fair for European businesses in Ghana to attract new investment inflows and networking opportunities.

Source: Daily Graphic

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