The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has described Ghana’s partnership with Toyota Tsuho as a game-changer after the official commissioning of the program.

Mr. Kyerematen led a team of high-powered government delegation to commission the ultramodern assembling plant for Toyota vehicles under the Tsuho Manufacturing firm.

The latest technological partnership, the third after Volkswagen Ghana and Kantanka Automobile Industries, is expected to help reduce import figures by a considerable percentage.

Speaking at the official commissioning ceremony, the Trade Minister highlighted the economical benefits of the partnership as part of five major reasons behind the deal.

“The government’s decision to establish automobile industry in Ghana was to achieve some strategic objectives which include the following; to establish a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for automotive assembling in collaboration with the private sector; to generate highly skilled jobs in automotive assembly and the manufacture of components and parts, with spillover effects into other sectors of the economy; and to establish an asset-based vehicle financing scheme for locally assembled vehicles to ensure affordability for vehicle buyers;

“Again, government seeks to improve balance of payments through competitive import substitution and export market development; and improve vehicle safety and environmental standards; as well as transform the quality of the national road transport fleet and safeguard the natural environment”, he explained.

On the potential benefits Ghana stands to gain from the partnership, the Sector Minister described the latest deal as a step in the right direction.

“Ghana imports over 100,000 vehicles per annum, which makes motor vehicles among the leading imported commodities into the country, accounting for about 15% of the annual import bill. The development of the automotive industry in Ghana, therefore, is a game-changer for the Ghanaian economy aimed at significantly reducing our import bills and contributes towards improving the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”, the Trade Minister added.

The Minister also revealed plans by government to empower Ghanaians in the production of vehicular parts to ease the importation burden alongside ensuring job creation.

“In addition to this and to ensure the systematic progression of registered assemblers into manufacturing of vehicles, the government has prioritized the development of components and parts manufacturing through a local partnership with foreign multinational companies.

“In pursuit of this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is collaborating with the Africa Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement a comprehensive Supplier Development Programme aimed at creating viable domestic enterprises capable of supplying components for local assembly and the global supply chain,” Mr. Alan Kyerematen told the press.