In its quest to accelerate the country’s industrialisation agenda, the government, in 2019, launched the Ghana Automotive Development Policy which set out the framework for the building of a strong automobile assembly industry.
The policy aims at making it possible for the assembling of affordable new vehicles on the Ghanaian market. It is also to help reduce the heavy reliance on used vehicles, mostly imported with hard currency, with its attendant impact on the Ghana cedi.
Since the launch of the policy, many automotive companies across the world have shown interest in investing in the country, some going far by building assembly plants here, just to take advantage of business opportunities.
Last week, one of such companies, the Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), formally began the assembling of the all new ‘Built of More’ Nissan Navara at its new assembly plant in Tema, near Accra.
The company got the nod after it was subjected to the rigorous Nissan manufacturing quality standards validation process in February 2022.
The Daily Graphic congratulates Japan Motors on achieving this feat, which is a demonstration of the company’s resolve to be in the country for the long haul.
It also shows the level of confidence in the economy and further serves as a great example for other companies to come into the country to invest.
Ghana is known to be one of the African countries that attract more foreign direct investment (FDIs), and, therefore, we are confident that the bold initiative by the company will go a long way to open the country up to the rest of the world, particularly big companies which are into manufacturing.
We also commend the government for creating the right environment that seeks to change the dynamics to attract investment from leading original equipment manufacturers into the economy.
We are aware that earlier, Japan Motors had sent a core team of 12 engineers to Nissan Motors’ continental light commercial vehicle manufacturing hub in Rosslyn, South Africa, for intensive training on the Nissan Navara last year.
To us, this also clearly demonstrates the company’s resolve to help Ghanaians muster the art of vehicle assembling, a development which can eventually lead to the transfer of technology and technical expertise. In this way, Ghana benefits immensely from building the skills of Ghanaian mechanical engineers.
Many countries, such as Japan, South Korea and even China, benefitted from the technology from the West. Today, they are also giants in their own right in the vehicle manufacturing industry.
We trust that as the government looks to make Ghana a major economic hub, leveraging its political and economic achievements and also being the oasis of peace in the subregion and on the continent as a whole, this accomplishment by Japan Motors will be used as a launch pad in that direction.
Against this background, we expect the government, which is the biggest spender in the economy, to use policy to ensure that ministries, departments, agencies, and also metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies patronise the vehicles to reduce their reliance on imported ones. This way, the public will also have the confidence to buy from Japan Motors and not import.
Reducing our reliance on imports will improve our terms of trade, improve balance of payment and ultimately strengthen our local currency.
Once again, we congratulate Japan Motors on the achievement; we expect the company to continue to strictly adhere to standards to continue to win the confidence of the people