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30.11.2007 Business & Finance

We Need Strong Industrial Case – Deputy Minister

By GNA
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives (PSIs), has stated that it was high time the nation made a deliberate effort to improve upon her industrial infrastructure and technology.
     
He was optimistic that such an effort would in the long term ensure the development of a substantial industrial estate and zones serviced with utilities, specialized training centres, roads, factory buildings and sheds for renting to help reduce the initial investment cost of entrepreneurs.
     
Mr Agyemang-Manu made the call in a speech read on his behalf in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region last Wednesday at the launch of a policy blueprint developed by the leadership of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO).
    
 The 75-paged document spells out an overview of the operations of the Suame Magazine, its clustered dynamics and the challenges required for inputting into the design of projects and programmes needed to turn the area into a technologically advanced industrial estate.
     
'In this era of globalisation and competitiveness, all our economic efforts should take into consideration global trends in order to use them as benchmark'.
    
 He challenged the private sector to collaborate effectively with government in creating a vibrant industrial base to enhance investment promotion.
     
Mr Agyemang-Manu noted that the ministry was advancing the establishment of a furniture City Project in the country and said the project which is being supported by the World Bank, would upon completion bring together about 300 small-scale furniture producers to improve on their skills, technology, product quality and revenue.
     
Mr George Asamoah-Amankwaah, President of the SMIDO, said the Suame Magazine Industrial Zone comprises enterprises engaged in vehicle repairs and bodybuilding, metal works, foundry work, machine building and shops, welding and fabrication.
     
He noted however, that in spite of the crucial role the sector plays in the nation's socio-economic development, it continues to be neglected by policy-makers.
     
Mr Asamoah-Amankwaah said the blueprint was developed to provoke policy interest in Suame Magazine 'which had never featured in any nationally planned development policy and interventions in almost its 80 years of existence'.
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