Business News of Friday, 5 April 2013
The Executive Secretary-General of the China People Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Mr. Xu Kaiyu, has said his outfit is prepared to build a large-scale port in the country to enable it become an important trade centre in the world, since it offers a conducive atmosphere for businesses to grow and is therefore imperative for economic and trade ventures.
“I am here as a representative of several private sector operators in China to discuss possible cooperation in the areas of trade and economics, and Ghana offers the ideal place for such ventures,” he said.
Mr. Xu made this statement when he led a group of private operators to meet the Minister of Trade and Industry at his office this week. In addition to this, a zone could also be developed for agro-processing where goods can be produced for the world market. The benefit of such a venture is also enormous, as it will offer employment to many people.
He reiterated the cordial relationship that has existed between the two countries over the years, and said more areas must be exploited for the benefit of the two countries. Mr. Xu said once Government accepts such a request and a land is identified, a technical team made up from the two countries will start the feasibility work.
He assured that his outfit will abide by the laws of Ghana in their business dealings. He commended the Government and people of Ghana for sustaining peace, which has made Ghana attractive to investors.
In response, Trade Minister Haruna Idddrisu said one of the Ministry’s core functions is trade facilitation — but was quick to add that provided the group has the financial resources to embark on such a venture, Government will not hesitate to embrace the idea.
The Minister said Ghana abounds in a vast tract of coastline, and therefore once the assurance and a demonstration on intent has been established, Government will facilitate release of coastal lands for the port.
Mr. Iddrisu said Ghana welcomes genuine investors into all sectors of the economy. Touching on Chinese nationals in Ghana, the Minister said there are genuine Chinese who are doing business in Ghana, but reiterated that the markets are exclusive preserve of the Ghanaians and therefore a no-go area.
He was however quick to add that they require visas and residence-permits, and must above all register their companies to make sure the country benefits from them in terms of taxes etc. as pertains anywhere.
He pledged his determination to work closely with investors, both local and foreign, to revive the manufacturing sector which has dipped of late. The Trade and Industry Minister however also requested the Chinese investors to put up modern markets through a private-public partnership once they demonstrate their intent and show the financial resources for such a venture.
“One area that I also want you to consider is the Ghana Trade Fair, where Government would welcome investors to transform the Centre into a modern trade centre with Hotels and other facilities to host a lot of events and activities to bring the place to par with other World Trade Fair Centres,” the Minister said.