The Forestry Commission and China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) have agreed to set up a joint bureau aimed at developing a forestry park that will help the country achieve sustainable revenue from its forest resources.
The forestry park, estimated to cost US$3.5billion, is expected to be a long-term project with a holistic development of the forestry sector for greater job creation and revenue. The project seeks to resolve these problems by building an internationally advanced industrial cluster and creating a strong industrial agglomeration effect to promote industry upgrading.
Speaking at a brief ceremony in Accra to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation in forest resource development and management, the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, said the bureau to be established will ensure effective implementation of the Park.
He added that it will as well be responsible for planning and design, introduce investment, and find cooperative partners, management and operations for the Park.
“The Park envisions achieving sustainable profit through using forestry resources scientifically to develop various bankable business portfolios in the Park, and to facilitate the protection activities which do not endanger the Water Resources, Forestry and Wildlife Resources, and other aspects of the environment,” Mr Afriyie said.
Mr. Owusu-Afriyie said: “I can tell you I have travelled the length and breadth of the world, but the Chinese are the best in terms of wood processing and things that we can do with wood in its processing”.
Mr Liu Zhirong, the Vice-President of CEIEC who signed on behalf of his organisation, said the platform will introduce relevant forestry economic investment, experience, and technologies to Ghana.
It will also guide professional companies to collaborate with the Ghanaian government to build a comprehensive international forestry economic and trade cooperation park.
“The Park will form a strong industrial agglomeration benefit and improve the comprehensive development efficiency of forestry in Ghana, while expanding the employment rate in relevant regions,” Mr Liu said.
Ghana’s forest resource management has long been criticised for focusing on short-term economic value, beset by problems such as the lack of sustainable development, unplanned logging, illegal logging, and lack of technology and equipment for timber production and processing.
The Ghana-China Forestry Economic and Trade Cooperation Park Project aims at building an internationally advanced industrial cluster and bringing out a strong industrial agglomeration effect to promote industrial upgrading, improve the industrial chain, expand timber transactions, boost Ghana’s competitiveness in the timber industry, and achieve a new tax growth point
The project components include Forest Cultivation and Logging Industry; Wood Processing and Manufacturing Industry.