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27.11.2003 Regional News

Establishment of Volta Investment Board - Minister

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Ho, Nov. 27, GNA - The Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI), Mr Alan Kyerematen on Wednesday recommended the establishment of a Volta Regional Investment Board to spearhead investment in the region in view of its low investments as against its immense and varied investment potentials.

The Board, with the participation of both the private and public sectors, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Ministry of Trade, Investment and the PSI should provide information about and canvass for investments in the region.

Mr Kyerematen made the recommendation at the close of a three-day Volta Regional Investment Conference in Ho under the theme; " Toward the Economic Development of the Volta Region," organised by Compass Ventures, under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and the PSI and the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC).

He said statistics on investments in the country in the last 20 years showed that out of a total of 1,569 investments in the country for the period only 24 investments were made in the Volta Region, a trend which he said must be reversed.

Mr Kyerematen assured that the government would create the necessary environment for business to thrive in the region but said unity was required in the region, as "you cannot use one stone to build a house".

In his closing remarks, the Volta Regional Minister Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, observed that the enthusiasm showed towards participation in the conference was an indication of renewed interest in investment in the region.

He observed that the land disputes constituted a major obstacle to investment in the region and that District Assemblies' initiatives to create land banks were fraught with difficulties.

As a way, out he recommended to the District Assemblies to interpose between landowners and prospective investors so as to allow investors to undertake their investments while efforts to iron out ownership issues were undertaken.

He said the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC) would do everything to facilitate the processes to attract investment into the region. Mr Owusu-Yeboa announced that a trade and investment exhibition would be organised next year as a follow-up to the investment conference.

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