Trade Minister urges companies to invest in tree plantation

By
Stephen Asante, GNA

Kumasi, Aug 18, GNA
– Dr. Ekow Spio-Gabrah, the Trade and Industry Minister, has encouraged furniture
companies to invest in tree plantations to assure them of the raw material to
sustain their operation.

He said it was in
their own interest to assist replant the destroyed forests and to increasingly
take to the use of the lesser-known tree species.

This was necessary
amid the growing depletion of the nation’s forest – crippling the operation and
fueling the collapse of many furniture companies.

Over 100 tree
species that used to serve as vital raw material for the furniture producers
were now extinct.

Dr. Spio-Gabrah, who
was on a two-day working visit to the Ashanti Region to interact with
businesses, made the call when he toured the Logs and Lumber Limited – a timber
company, in Asokwa, Kumasi.

He highlighted the
need for the companies to demonstrate innovativeness – to add value to their
finished products.

They should find new
ways of doing things to survive the stiff competition from their foreign
counterparts.     

He was in the region
to acquaint himself with the performance of the local businesses, the
challenges and the way forward to aid their growth.

It is part of the
effort to deepen the relationship between his ministry and the private sector.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah had
earlier interacted with the management of the Royal Foam Ghana Limited and
Ababio Gyamfua Investments Limited – manufacturers of roofing sheets and
aluminium products and inspected the Boankra Inland Port project.

He underlined the
government determination to actively engage private businesses and work hard to
address the problems they faced.

At Boankra, he
announced that funds were being sought to complete the in-land port project.

The management of
the various companies were unanimous in their call to the government to find a
lasting solution to the energy crisis, which they said was badly affecting
their operations.

GNA                

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