Industrial transformation is our priority--Trade Minister
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, has said government will endeavour to embark on industrial transformation to build the capacities of large scale industries and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in the country to be globally competitive and to position the country as a business hub.
He said this in Accra during a meeting with the America Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and other stakeholders under the theme ‘Creating an enabling environment for industrialisation, trade and investment’.
He indicated: “Our whole development agenda is on creating jobs and we believe that it is possible to create jobs in different sectors of our economy. In many matured economies, if you want to create jobs in a sustainable significant way, then you should bring to bear industrial development packages to help harness growth and productivity.”
Mr. Kyeremanten said the first priority of the trade ministry is to provide a stimulus package to support existing companies, adding that: “We are doing this because, we believe that many of our industries and enterprises have gone through significant challenges over the last couple of years.”
The stimulus package, he said, is intended to provide a comprehensive support to companies that are facing operational challenges but are deemed to be potentially viable.
“We have already embarked on a process of screening over 100 companies and we are hopeful of providing funds for about 50 of them in the first phase of the stimulus package,” he noted.
He further explained: “We have developed a very comprehensive diagnostic tool which we would use to access and screen each of these potential beneficiary companies. The diagnostic exercise which the companies will go through, should tell us the kind of stimulus assistance they require, and government has set up a fund of $US50million seed fund to support them.”
He added: “We are leveraging an additional US$150million to add to the seed fund, so we have a resource envelope of US$200million, which will then be used to support these companies and in terms of the options that might be available, it is either debt financing or structure financing, including quasi and equity financing option and we would definitely see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Commenting on district industrialisation, he explained that the one-district-one factory initiative has a diverse interpretation of many but the programme is designed to add value to the natural resources endowment of each of the country’s 216 districts.