Business News of Friday, 16 January 2015
Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, on Thursday broke the ground for the construction of a standard International Logistics Park on a 40-acre land in the Tema Port Free Trade Zone enclave.
The construction, spearheaded by the Agility Group, a leading global logistics and logistical infrastructure provider, would improve logistics efficiency, reduce cost, facilitate raw material procurement and improve on business services processing.
It would also provide a comprehensive approach to inventory management, handling, packaging, storage, distribution, and other practices in the supply chain enterprise.
Mr Ricketts-Hagan said the Agility Group, which started as a local warehousing provider in Kuwait, had grown to become one of the world’s largest integrated logistics providers with over 20,000 employees and operations in 100 countries.
He said the investment would strategically position and link Ghanaian businesses to the global market in the wake of increasing customer dynamics and supply chain complexities.
“As the enterprise of logistics parks evolve and expand, development through collaboration and networking becomes increasingly important to impel creativity and sustain long-term attractiveness and competitiveness,” he said.
The Minister said an International Logistics Park provided direct access to global transport networks and enabled direct transshipment of large volumes of goods without the need for long winding intermediary operations.
He said an efficiently functioning International Logistics Park was intrinsically reliant on a well-developed public-private collaboration.
“As a result of the partnership, the Ministry is working to develop a Logistics Services Market Policy that would address co-ordination failures and identify logistics constituencies for reform”.
He said the policy would aim to establish an efficient logistics service delivery with particular focus on small and medium enterprises through an integrated approach with convergence on infrastructure and public-private services.
He entreated the Agility Group and all other stakeholders in the sector to proactively engage the Ministry through the Logistics and Value Chain and the Trade Facilitation Directorates to deliver on the overriding intent of the Logistics Policy.
Mr Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer of Agility Group, Africa, said the first phase of the park would be completed and operational in the last quarter of 2015, and would include 100,000 square meters of bonded and non-bonded warehouses with ancillary services.
“By providing much needed import and export routes in and out of Africa, Agility Distribution Parks will help companies operate in Africa with the reliable, modern and secure infrastructure they need to grow their business,” he said.
Mr White said Agility Distribution Parks focused on providing undisturbed power, IT connectivity and security for tenants, creating an international platform from which companies could efficiently operate their businesses.
Ghana is an attractive location to launch the network of new Agility Distribution Parks because of her long term stable and transparent government, fast growing Gross Domestic Product and increasing prominence as a regional commercial hub in West Africa, he said.