Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has called for increased collaboration between Ghana and India to develop the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
He said Ghana is looking forward to a very strong SME sector relationship with India which would expand the SMEs and provide jobs for people.
The minister was speaking was speaking at his Office in Accra when the visiting Indian Envoy, Mr Birender Singh, called on him to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Mr Awal who lamented the high unemployment situation in the country was hopeful that a buoyant SME sector would bring a welcome relief to many Ghanaians and businesses.
“We need your support in the area of technology and innovation, training and access to affordable capital,” he said.
According to him, government is committed to removing all barriers hindering the growth and expansion of businesses in Ghana, adding “for us, the private sector is the driver of business and the economy.”
The former Graphic Communication Group boss said government has committed itself to engaging the private sector well which is the reason behind the creation of the Ministry of Business Development.
The Minister who is set to visit India next month reckoned that the SME sector in Ghana constitutes over 90 percent of all businesses in Ghana to contribute between 60-70 percent of the country’s GDP.
“To enhance development it is prudent to look at the challenges and opportunities in the SME sector and initiate programmes and initiatives to ensure the sector improves,” the Minister stated.
The Indian Envoy expressed his country’s readiness to provide support to Ghana in many areas including the SME sector.
He disclosed further that the Indian government was ready to facilitate the Minister’s meeting and interaction with SME players in India.
“In India, you will be meeting lots of Indian businessmen who are engaged in SME activities and when you return from your visit I would be here to meet you again so we can take things further,” Mr Singh said.
He noted that India’s economy remains heavily dependent on SMEs for growth and employment and “our government also provides lots of incentives such as start-up capital, innovation technology and tax holidays so that entrepreneurs can start their own ventures.”