Ghana Courts India’s Support For SMEs

Ibrahim Mohammed Awal in a handshake with Birender Singh

Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has called for increased collaboration between Ghana and India to develop Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

“We are looking forward to a very strong SME sector and relationship between India and Ghana, which will see our SMEs expand and provide jobs for our people,” he told visiting Indian envoy, Birender Singh, in Accra.

The envoy called on him at his office in Accra to discuss issues of mutual interest to the two countries.

The Minister, who bemoaned the high unemployment rate in the country, was hopeful a buoyant SME sector would bring relief to many Ghanaians and businesses.

“We need your support in the area of technology and innovation, training and access to affordable capital,” Mr Awal declared.

Government, the Minister said, was committed to removing all barriers to growth and expansion of businesses in Ghana, adding that “for us, the private sector is the driver of business and the economy.”

Mr Awal said government has committed itself to engaging the private sector well through the creation of the Ministry of Business Development.

The Minister, who is set to visit India next month, revealed that the SME sector in Ghana constitutes over 90 percent of all businesses in Ghana and contributes between 60 and 70 percent to the country’s GDP.

“To enhance development, it is prudent to look at the challenges and opportunities in the SME sector and initiate programmes to ensure the sector improves,” the Minister stated.

On his part, the Indian envoy, expressed his country’s readiness to support Ghana in many areas, including the SME sector.

He disclosed further that the Indian government was ready to facilitate Mr Awal’s meeting and interaction with SMEs in that country.

“In India, you will be meeting a lot of Indian businessmen who are engaged in SME activities and when you return from your visit, I will 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, saying “our government also provides a lot of incentives such as start-up capital, innovation technology and tax holidays so that entrepreneurs can start their own ventures.”