Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka–Lindsay, has urged beverage manufacturers to take advantage of tax incentives in the manufacturing sector to develop it and create more jobs.
“Your business qualifies for One District, One Factory and so you have zero-duty on all the equipment you bring in for the manufacture of your beverage. You have a five-year corporate tax holiday associated with your business,” he said at the third Ghana Beverage Awards (GBA) which came off at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra.
He added that government is prepared to subsidise up to 10 percent of the interest cost for borrowing money to sustain or expand a business. And in some cases, Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay added, when government knows the business cannot get the needed raw materials, it will help the company get them duty-free.
“These are offered because we believe in what your businesses can do for the creation of jobs and wealth in Ghana. It offers opportunities for businesses to be created, both Ghanaian and international, and offers us opportunities to create value.
“We within the ministry are ensuring that we are committed to your well-being, and as an industry we know you face challenges; but at the end of the day, if we can show a route to create opportunities for businesses to grow and create wealth, you can be assured of our support,” he said.
He noted that the SMEs in the beverage industry can do a lot more just by providing flavours and specific beverages that can go global very quickly. “I was looking through the brochure and saw a tiger-nut beverage, and this is not something you will see everywhere; but the business of beverages is seeing an opportunity and creating something that offers a moment of delight to consumers.
“When we talk about the industrial transformation of Ghana, that includes the beverage industry. When we talk about One District, One Factory it includes the beverage industry, and opportunities abound for you to do well.
“It is good to see that a good number of those awarded today actually manufacture here; because if you look along the beverage value chain – everything from water, gas, sugar, different forms of flavours, crates, SMEs that are along the route to market – it becomes an important opportunity for us to engage,” he added.
The awards, organised by the Global Media Alliance, seek to celebrate, honour and inspire the beverage industry in Ghana. It is targetted at producers, stakeholders in the industry and consumers.
With over 30 entries coming in from various beverage companies in the country, the event organiser invited public nominations for the awards this year.
Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Alliance, Ernest Boateng said: “The special thing about this edition is the encouragement of public participation apart from the input of our jury, which is a standard practice we have with GBA. It matters to us that we have involved the public, since our beverages end up on their tables anyway,” he added.
The winners are Kpoo Keke as the New Beverage of the Year and Liqueur of the Year; Blue Skies won Fruit Juice of the Year; Coca Cola, as the CSD Water of the Year; Jameson won International Spirit of the Year; Guinness won Beer of the Year; Alomo Bitters won Bitters of the Year; and Castle Bridge won Spirit of the Year.
Orijin Beer won Ciders/RTD of the year; Storm Energy won Energy Drink of the Year and Product of the Year; Vitamilk won the Cocoa/Chocolate/Dairy Product of the Year; BelAqua was adjudged Water of the Year; Twellium Industries won CSR Company of the Year; Heineken won International Beer of the Year; and Kasapreko Company Limited won Manufacturing Company of the Year.