'Look beyond American Market' - Hon. Kyerematen tells Mexican Business Executives
Hon. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry joined a Panel session at Mexico Business Summit which was highly attended by leading Business Executives from North and South America. He advised them to look beyond the America market by taking advantage of the growing middle class consumers of Africa. He indicated that the African market holds great potential for foreign investors and local African Exporters across a wide range of industries, and investments in many African countries is now much more attractive than before. This potential could continue to grow as demographic trends, such as a dramatic increase in Africa's skilled labour force, Continental Single Market and increased income levels manifest in the near future. African countries are working on improving the productive capacities of local producers to leverage the market opportunities and integrate into the global value chain. Hon. Minister further stated that, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to several of the worlds fast-growing economies Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire are enjoying significant economic growth. Ghana's GDP growth rate is expected to reach 7.6% in 2019, making the country one of the fastest growing economies in the world, according to the World Bank and the IMF. This does not happen by chance. Relentless determination and the patient resilience of our people is an important part of the story of what has brought us this far. We can rightly signal to the world that Africa is ready for trade, investments and prosperity. He stated his belief that this is Africas most opportune time and the world is ready for Africa, as the new frontier market and production hub for wealth creation. This is a good time to be in Africa and with Ghana as the gateway! In his response to the question that WHAT ARE THE AREAS WHERE SUCH RELATIONS COULD BE DEVELOPED? Hon. Kyerematen recalled that Ghana and Mexico have enjoyed very good relations especially in the late 60s and 70s. Mexico was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Ghana in 1961 and had an embassy in Accra from 1965 to 1980 but was closed for some time and reopened in 2014. Ghana on the other hand, was the first African country to have an embassy in Mexico, which, unfortunately, has now been closed. In recent years, relations have been rekindled (thanks to the hardworking Mexican Ambassador to Ghana and the Team based in Accra) with Mexico receiving visits from Government officials including the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye and Ministers own second official visit to the country, the CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) as well as Private Sector Business Executives from Ghana. The vision for Ghana has been to transform the country into a prosperous self-sustaining economy that meets the standard of a Ghana Beyond Aid. Boosting trade and investment through economic diversification is therefore without a doubt the single most important driving force for preparing our country to make the transition from dependency on aid to investments and trade. Ghana is the 2nd largest economy in West Africa with a nominal GDP $65 billion with a population about 30 million, endowed with highly skilled and competent human resources. We have a resilient economy, a stable political environment and a fair, equitable and transparent judicial system. Hon. Minister also indicated that the Government of Ghana launched Industrial Transformation Programme that is seeking to support the private sector to transform and expand the manufacturing capacity and enhance their productive capacities. It will decisively address the age-old problem of the supply capacity and dramatically increase capacity to deliver large volumes of exportable products to foreign markets as well as for import substitution. Under this Industrialisation Agenda, Government is implementing several programmes and initiatives including the District Industrialization Programme - branded as the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative, industrial development is being decentralized across the 260 Districts in the country. Private sector investors are being offered a range of new incentives to enable them establish factories in each of the Districts. In addition, an initiative is being implemented by the Government of Ghana to facilitate private sector investments in several Strategic Anchor industries to create ten (10) new economic growth poles in the Ghanaian economy. They include the integrated bauxite and aluminium, iron and steel, automotive assembly and components manufacturing, textiles and garments, and pharmaceuticals. He reminded his audience that Mexico is a market leader in the Global Auto industry with Car exports of $45.1billion, Vehicle Parts and Components $28 billion and Delivery Trucks $26.7 billion in 2017. Ghana is therefore seeking strategic partnerships with the Mexican private sector businesses to establish manufacturing plants in Ghana to take advantage of Ghanas emerging Auto Industry. In this regard, the Hon. Minister informed the participants that Government of Ghana has rolled out a strategic framework to develop and/or package a value proposition of policy, infrastructure and incentives that attract global and regional component manufacturers to invest in Ghana and create a conducive environment to allow skills and technology transfer from these large component investors to domestic companies. The Trade and Industry Minister informed the participants of the Summit that the Akufo-Addo Government is restructuring the financial services sector, investing in business related infrastructure such as the establishment of industrial parks and special economic zones, roads, energy and boosting investments in communications infrastructure.
Source: Ministry of Trade & Industry