Business News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Minister-designate for the Trade and Industry Ministry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, has said the Government would support existing companies to be competitive on the international market by providing them with stimulus packages.
Mr Kyerematen, the first to appear before the Appointments Committee, on Monday, explained the intervention was one of the six strategic pillars towards supporting the Industrialisation and Transformation Agenda of the Government, as captured by the New Patriotic Party’s Manifesto entitled: ‘Change, an Agenda for Jobs’.
In this vein, he said, the Government would undertake a diagnostic study of the companies and know the exact support they would need.
Mr Kyerematen, who was a Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives under the Kufuor Administration, noted that some existing companies just required marketing support, new technologies and additional investment capital in order to expand and create employment avenues.
Therefore, he said, the Government would facilitate efforts by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to access capital from financial institutions in order to expand their businesses, which would invariably create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
The Ministerial nominee stated that the National Investment Bank (NIB) would be resourced to provide credit to companies, while the Government limited its borrowing from the financial institutions.
Moreover, he said, the Government would reduce the Treasury Bill Rate, which would, in turn, reduce the willingness of financial institutions to lend to the Government, but rather provide credit to the local businesses or entrepreneurs.
Mr Kyerematen, who is an international consultant on Trade, said the Government would also establish anchor industries such as iron, aluminium and pharmaceutical industries, and also promote the manufacturing of machine components, which would have fundamental effects on the economy.
The nominee gave the assurance that the Government would promote domestic trade by improving the retail market and ensure effective compliance with the local Content Legislation.
“We would also embark on aggressive programmes through export diversification on the regional market, especially on the African continent and the Sub-region,” he stated.
He said the One-District, One-Factory initiative was designed to create massive employment, and, therefore, the Government’s Technical Study Group would meet the Members of Parliament to seek their support towards implementing the initiative.
He said though the previous NPP Government, in 2007, undertook the study of the 110 districts at that time and developed a business plan, which was geared towards rolling out the initiative.
Mr Kyerematen said the Government would also add value to potential export commodities and identify potential export substitution products, which would be produced locally to enhance the country’s revenue base.