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01.04.2004 General News

Technology Improvement Programme launched

By GNA

Accra, April 1, GNA - The Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (MOTI/PSIs), has implemented a "New Industrial Reform and Accelerated Growth Programme" that has the potential of transforming the economy and putting it on the path of sustainable development and growth in the shortest possible time.

The programme, known as the Technology Improvement Programme (TIP) is driven by two core strategies that are export led and domestic market-oriented industrialization based on import substitution.

The Minister of Trade and PSIs, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who was speaking at the launch of the TIP on Thursday, said most of the industries operating in the country were technologically bankrupt. "Their machinery and equipment are obsolete, their processes outdated and their skill levels low, making them uncompetitive on both domestic and international markets."

The Minister said the Ministry would, therefore, assist local industries to retool, to become more efficient, productive and competitive. He said for the programmes and projects to generate significant impact, they must be driven by technology, which underpinned the production of all goods and services and was the basis for competitiveness.

He said countries at the cutting-edge of technology were at the forefront of global trade and enjoyed greater development and better standards of living, "but those without, have been marginalized in world trade and condemned to low standards of living".

Mr Kyerematen said the selected enterprises would have to provide the Ministry with data on their location, profile, state of existing equipment, technical information on new equipment, training and other facilities required by the companies through an audit report. "The audit will assist the Ministry to facilitate access to financial support for the acquisition of new machinery for those industries to help to make them more viable and competitive", he said.

In addition, an advisory board comprising representatives from both public and private sectors would oversee the successful implementation of the TIP. The Minister appealed to the participating enterprises to co-operate with the consultants by providing reliable information and pledged government's support.

On the question on the criteria for selection, the Minister said the programme considered properly set-up companies, looked at their resource base, raw materials, job creation, labour intensive technology, environmental sustainability and sound management practices, among other things.

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