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12.03.2009 General News

Excerpts from 2009 Budget Statement presented to Parliament on Thursday March 5, 2009 by Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor

By The Statesman
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Ministry of Trade and Industry
351. Madam Speaker, the Ministry aims at developing a vibrant technology driven, competitive industrial sector that significantly contributes to economic growth and employment creation, particularly involving mass mobilization of rural communities and other vulnerable groups including women.

Performance in 2008
352. Madam Speaker, a number of legal, regulatory and institutional reform programmes were completed by the Ministry. These included a study on Effective Rate of Protection (ERP), establishment of Trade Tariff Advisory Board, installation of equipment for the electronic tracking of trucks for Transit Trade, offered credit to 100 MSME through the BDS funds and drafted the Competition Bill for submission to Cabinet.

353. The Ministry also developed and operationalised the Technical Barriers to Trade/Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (TBT/SPS) website, a draft Consumer Protection Policy and designed Model Markets for Municipal and District Assemblies.

354. Madam Speaker, under the Gateway Project the following construction works are nearing completion. These are the construction of Flyover Bridge and Access Road within Tema Port and the Tema Multi-Purpose Industrial Park (TMPIP), the installation of permanent power supply and distribution, construction of roads and side drains, water supply and distribution, power supply and distribution, and the construction of a security fence wall at the Tema multi-purpose industrial park.

355. Madam Speaker, as a result of efforts by Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) to improve market access, orders worth over US$20.0 million were received for medicinal plants and seeds. The market access programmes undertaken included Rand Show, Johannesburg - South Africa, SIDIM Fair in Montreal, Canada, Vita Foods International 2008, Geneva - Switzerland, African Fair 2008, Tokyo - Japan, Joint Agric Show held in Tehran -Iran during the Ghana-Iran Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation meeting and the Royal Agriculture Show 2008, - United Kingdom.

356. Madam Speaker, GEPC has also established four mango nursery centres located at Ho and Nkonya-Kwamekrom in the Volta Region, Kpalo-Salaga in the Northern Region and Ada-Afiadenyingba in Greater Accra Region, involving a total of 120,000 grafted seedlings of export variety exotic mangoes.

357. Madam Speaker, under the Cassava Starch PSI, 65 acres of high-cassava-starch-content planting material for multiplication were cultivated near Kasoa in Central Region. This is to enable the PSI to increase the output of raw material for starch production

358. Madam Speaker, to make available trained workforce for the garment industry, 2,000 sewing machine operators were trained. Apart from this, officers participated in Apparel Shows in the USA which resulted in securing orders to the tune of US$2.5m for the production of sportswear, ladies  and Men s wear, and overall uniforms.

359. Madam Speaker, the Ministry under the District Industrialization Programme provided financial support to the following companies; Dormaa Hatchery Project, N&C Foods, Northern Star Tomato Company, Pwalugu, Volta Star Textile Company, Juapong.

360. Madam Speaker, the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) organized Business Improvement Programmes for 5,600 enterprises and provided Advisory and Extension Services to 10,500 entrepreneurs to enhance their efficiency. Additionally, 80 micro and small enterprises were supported to improve product packaging and quality. Training seminars were organized for over 1,000 students aimed at enhancing their capability to start their own business.

361. Madam Speaker, through the GRATIS Foundation over 300 rural women were trained in various employable skills, including in batik/tie and dye production and marketing. Furthermore, 74 final year apprentices graduated and took the Craft Certificate Examination (CCE) of the Ghana Education Service (GES). Sixty-four (64) new technical apprentices were also placed on a three-year apprenticeship training programme in metal machining, welding and fabrication, foundry and woodwork.

362. Madam Speaker, the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) intensified its inspection activities at the Ports including critically examining over 120,000 imported high risk goods. Additionally, 1,337 health and export certificates were issued to exporters to enhance export competitiveness. About 837 export consignments, factories, fishing vessels and manufacturing establishments were inspected.

363. Madam Speaker, the Ministry successfully hosted the UNCTAD XII Conference to bring to the fore trade and development issues confronting the world.

Outlook for 2009
364. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will monitor and improve the quality of trade and industry data in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). The Ministry expects to issue the Quarterly Trade Statistics Bulletin to promote decision making.

365. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will develop an Industrial Sector Policy to complement the Trade Sector Support Programme currently being implemented under the Ghana Trade Policy.

366. Madam Speaker, the Ministry is engaged in several parallel international trade negotiations. Consequently, the Ministry will require improved capacity, institutional strengthening and appropriate negotiation skills. This has necessitated the design of a capacity building programme. The Ministry will also re- establish the Inter-institutional Committees to ensure effective coordination with other stakeholders.

367. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will establish a Trade and Tariffs Advisory Board to promote a transparent tariff regime to ensure a level playing field for all economic operators. This will be a front runner to the establishment of the Ghana International Trade Commission.

368. In this regard, the Ministry will facilitate the establishment of shea nuts processing factories in the three Northern Regions with the capacity to produce 50,000 metric tons of shea butter per annum.

369. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will facilitate an integrated development of a viable petro-chemical industry in order to take full advantage of the exploitation of crude oil to produce fertilizer, PVC granules and other related products. The production of caustic soda, based on local salt production will be promoted.

370. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will undertake feasibility studies to ascertain the establishment of basic industries to support Ghana s developmental efforts. In this regard, the focus will be on the development of such industries as iron and steel, brick and tile, as well as, clinker and cement production to create jobs and wealth, especially at the districts. The Ministry will also assess the feasibility of reviving the textiles industry based on an integrated approach to revamp the textile and garment industry.

371. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will facilitate the use of appropriate incentive schemes to enhance credit delivery to MSMEs using EDIF, EXIM Guarantee and Development Banks, especially the National Investment Bank (NIB).

372. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will pursue efforts to enhance global and regional competitiveness of products from the country. In this regard, an industrial support centre to coordinate assistance to firms to become internationally competitive will be established in consultation with PEF, AGI and GNCCI.

373. Madam Speaker, in order to reduce the volume of sugar importation and other allied products, the Ministry will support the setting up of an integrated sugar manufacturing project to produce sugar and ethanol in the Savelugu-Nanton District of the Northern Region. A by-product of this venture will be electricity.

374. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will establish a web-based product gallery to showcase made-in-Ghana goods. Additionally, the National Friday Wear Programme will be expanded to the districts to enhance patronage and create demand for made-in-Ghana garments and textiles to create jobs and wealth.

375. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will develop a National Export strategy to provide a strategic direction and road map for refocusing national efforts to achieve a quantum leap in exports. In addition, CEPS Procedures will be simplified and the Remote Controlled Entry System for Customs Declaration strengthened as a means to facilitate Trade in Ghana.

376. Madam Speaker, the Destination Inspection Scheme will be reviewed with stakeholder participation to agree on the way forward in the area of customs inspection and valuation. In addition, CEPS procedures will be simplified and the electronic entry system for Customs Declaration, GCNet, strengthened. Preparation will also commence for the formulation of the second phase of the Gateway Programme to sustain the gains made under the first phase which ends in December 2009.

377. Madam Speaker, to boost Ghana s Trade relations with the French-speaking countries, particularly in the West African Sub-region, the Ministry will support the training of 360 officers in the Public and Private Sectors in Business French over the next three years.

378. The Ministry will commence reforms aimed at overhauling Ghana s quality infrastructure regarding Standards, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM). This is to ensure consumer safety as well as meet international best practice, and clarify the role of standards setting and enforcing institutions.

379. Madam Speaker, the Ministry, in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Quality will continue to organize workshops on Quality Management Systems to enable SMEs appreciate and install quality management system at the firm level. This is a strategic objective to enhance their competitiveness in both local and export markets.

380. Madam Speaker, the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) will be supported to offer technical support services to exporters in order for them to overcome technical barriers to trade (TBT) as well as to help them meet Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) requirements. The Ministry will also set up an effective National Alert System to inform exporters about issues regarding sub-standard goods and changes in requirements regarding export products.

381. Madam Speaker, the National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) is being reconstituted and strengthened to provide technical and financial support for MSEs. In addition, the Ministry will support the decentralized Business Assistance Centres (BACs) in the districts to deliver quality integrated services to target MSEs. About 30,000 MSEs will be equipped with business improvement skills to enhance their production and marketing capabilities.

382. Madam Speaker, the Central Regional Development Commission (CEDECOM) will be strengthened to enable it expand its programmes and projects that contribute to job creation and poverty reduction in the Central Region.

383. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will strengthen the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) to provide world class export support services to exporters through market access facilitation, product development, trade information delivery, capacity building and coordination of national export agenda. In addition, Export Trade Houses will be established to address the supply response of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the export sector.

384. Madam Speaker, the Ministry will support the GRATIS Foundation to train 200 technical apprentices in metal machining, welding and fabrication, wood work and foundry. GRATIS will also be equipped to design and prototype 4 new products namely: oil expeller, mechanical drier, hammer mill and mechanical cassava harvester.

385. For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢72,296,148 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢9,740,064 IGF is GH ¢11,844,500 and Donor is GH ¢50,711,584