The Ministry of Trade and Industry has secured a $35-million Indian Exim Bank facility to establish a new sugar factory at Komenda.
To this end, a contract has been signed with a firm to undertake the civil and engineering works, as well as establish an irrigation scheme for high-yielding sugar cane plantation to feed the factory.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, announced this in Accra on Tuesday when his ministry took its turn at the meet-the-press series.
He said Ghana’s annual sugar requirement was currently estimated at 375,000 tonnes and the factory was expected to produce value added by-products such as energy and alcohol to support industry.
Mr Iddrisu said the government, through the ministry, had initiated a process of developing modern industrial zones across the country to facilitate the industrialisation process, adding that the zones would ensure the availability of serviced plots with utilities and other essential infrastructure to promote the spatial distribution of industries across the country.
Ban on scrap metals
He announced that the export of ferrous scrap metals had been banned under L.I. 2201 of 2013, saying that the main objective of the ban was to make raw materials such as ferrous scrap available to steel mills.
According to the minister, steel mills were engaged in the local production of reinforcing rods, angle bars, casting and fabricated parts of machinery and equipment for industry and their operation would generate tax revenue, create jobs, save foreign exchange and support the construction industry, among other productive secdtors.
He said the government was to undertake an impact assessment of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) that existed between the country and the European Union between 2007 and 2013.
“The outcome of the assessment, which is due to commence this month, will then inform the government’s decision on whether or not to sign another EPA with the EU,” he said.
He indicated that a committee of experts was being constituted to undertake a cost-benefit analyses of the initial agreement which heralded the ongoing negotiations between the EU and its counterpart in West Africa.
Mr Iddrisu said as part of measures to curb the importation and sale of pirated textiles, the government would strengthen the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to seize pirated designs at the ports of entry, adding that offenders would also be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said the ministry recognised its role in facilitating the development of a vibrant economy, adding that while the government was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses, the role of the private sector could not be downplayed.
Credit: Daily Graphic