Ghana to launch new industrial policy

A new industrial policy aimed at ensuring that local businesses are able to offer high and competitive products, in order to gain access to the global market will be launched by government soon.

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In addition an industrial sector support programme, which is in its final stages of preparation, would be jointly launched with the policy.

Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry announced this at the opening of a new office premises for the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC), and the launch of the second phase of the challenge fund project in Tamale.

The BUSAC Fund is a project aimed at improving the business environment in Ghana to facilitate private sector development through advocacy.

The Danish government is the lead supporter in the implementation of phase two of the BUSAC Fund, being complemented by the United States Agency for International Development and the European Union.

Ms Tetteh said the policy provides clear and transparent guidelines for the implementation of government’s industrial development agenda to ensure the competitiveness and growth of Ghana’s manufacturing sector.

She said some of the key development objectives of the policy include the expansion of productive employment and capacity in the manufacturing sector, promotion of agro-based industrial development and spatial distribution of industries in order to achieve reduction in poverty and income inequalities.

Ms Tetteh said government had reduced the budget deficit to sustainable levels, improved the exchange rate regime and brought down inflation to a single digit, which has had a significant bearing on BUSACs objectives and the entire business environment.

She said the creation of an effective and efficient service-oriented public sector had been at the heart of government’s policies geared towards reducing the cost and delays in the business environment.

Ms Tetteh stressed that critical reforms are being pursued under the sector reforms programme, through the implementation of the national medium-term private sector development strategy, which aimed at creating a fully supportive environment and level playing field for the private sector.

The Trade Minister announced that the reforms are targeting trade policy, business law, investment law, commercial justice and business registration and land administration.

Mr Jan Pirousz Poulsen, Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Danish Embassy said the first phase of the BUSAC, led to the granting of $7.8 million to support 362 business associations, labour unions and the business media.

He said about $20 million would be provided under the second phase of the project, expected to last till 2014. It is meant to build the capacity of the private sector especially in the areas of legal matters and the hiring of consultants.

Mr Dale Rachmeler, BUSAC Fund Manager said the project had over the years supported and changed the lives of many Ghanaians.

He commended Ghanaians for demonstrating commitment towards democratic governance and the creation of an enabling environment for business to strive.

Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf welcomed the launch of the second phase of the BUSAC Fund and expressed the hope that it would complement the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), which aims at accelerating the development of the Northern Ghana.

He said SADA would also serve as a catalyst to accelerate the competitiveness, growth and development of the private sector by assisting to remove the bottlenecks and challenges in the Ghanaian business environment.