Industrialisation remains priority of government — President

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
President Akufo-Addo cutting the tape for the establishment of the JETRO office in Accra.  With him are Mr Alan Kyerematen (2nd from right), Minister of Trade and Industry, and Mr Nobuhiko Sasaki (left), CEO of JETRO.
President Akufo-Addo cutting the tape for the establishment of the JETRO office in Accra. With him are Mr Alan Kyerematen (2nd from right), Minister of Trade and Industry, and Mr Nobuhiko Sasaki (left), CEO of JETRO.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said industrialisation remains a priority of the government for job creation, especially for the youth.

He has, therefore, called on the newly established office of the Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO), to collaborate effectively with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to implement the government’s comprehensive transformation agenda.

President Akufo-Addo, who was speaking at the opening of the JETRO Ghana office in Accra yesterday, said the industrialisation drive would also open up trade opportunities, including the exportation of made-in-Ghana products.

There was also the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JETRO, Mr Nobuhiko Sasaki.

“We in Ghana look forward to more substantial investment by Japanese companies in our manufacturing sector for us to realise our potential as a regional manufacturing hub in Africa,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He further said that the government was also working closely with Parliament, which the President said was willing and capable of designing the right legislative and regulatory measures necessary to attract investment in key strategic sectors of the economy.

Auto policy

President Akufo-Addo said the country’s automotive manufacturing policy was highly regarded by peers as one of the best in Africa.

He said the progress made by Volkswagen and Toyota companies after setting up their assembling plants in the country, and the plans of Nissan and Suzuki car manufacturers to follow suit early next year, bore testimony to the government's firm determination to industrialise the economy rapidly to propel growth to address the problem of unemployment.

“Ghana has a well developed, stable and conducive policy framework and regulatory environment which has made it an investment destination of choice.

“We also have a buoyant domestic private sector capable and eager to partner with counterparts from Japan,” the President added.

He said the memorandum of cooperation between Ghana and JETRO would further provide the basis for enhanced economic and trade relations between the two countries.

“Let me reiterate that this is the most opportune time to boost trade and investment for the mutual benefit of our people as we seek to implement our post COVID-19 economic recovery programmes,” President Akufo-Addo said.

AfCFTA

For his part, Mr Kyerematen also said the opening of the office was happening at a time the country was playing host to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an agreement that had ushered the African continent into a new era of improved intra-regional trade.

“The location of the secretariat presents huge potential for trade, finance and investment, and it is not surprising that major global brands such as Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Twitter and Google have already followed this lead and established operational offices here in Ghana,” he added.