Koforidua, April 14, GNA- Between June 2002 to March 31, 2004, the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) has provided 225 billion cedis as financial support to 97 projects in the country. Mr Kwabena Nkrumah, Director of Credit and Projects of EDIF said this at the launch of the Eastern Regional Fund at Koforidua on Wednesday.
He said 55 of the projects were in the Greater Accra region and they benefited from a total of 134 billion cedis, 15 in Ashanti region had 38 billion cedis, Central region, nine projects, 19.6 billion cedis, Eastern region had seven, with 17.2 billion cedis, Western region also had seven projects for 10.6 billion cedis and Brong Ahafo region had two projects at 4.2 billion cedis.
Mr Nkrumah said the Northern and Upper East regions, which had a project each, received 590 million cedis and 150 million cedis respectively, while Volta and Upper West regions had not benefited from any project yet.
He explained that, the Fund was demand-driven and is provided to support people in the export business.
Mr. Timothy K. Obeng, Chief Executive of EDIF said recent review of EDIF's operations indicated that many business establishments in the Eastern region were yet to access the Fund due to lack of awareness among the enterprises or their failure to seek EDIF's support.
He explained that it was in that light that it was decided to formally launch the EDIF in each of the ten regions to increase awareness among business houses of the nature and purpose of EDIF and the facilities that the fund provides.
Mr Obeng called on members of the business community in the Eastern region who qualify to take advantage of the opportunities offered by EDIF to access the fund to consolidate and expand the export trade.
The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Gustav Narh Dometey expressed appreciation of the fact that the launching was to afford the opportunity to the participants to ask questions on how they could access the fund since that is one of the critical areas to many business houses in the region.
He said the government, under the "Golden Age of Business", was doing everything possible to create the enabling environment for doing business through the review of the legal framework and removal of all the bottlenecks that hinder the promotion of business.
Chairman for the function, Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng, Okwawuhene, urged traditional authorities to encourage their people to undertake ventures that would enable them to enter into the export market in order to increase the foreign earnings of the country.
He urged the chiefs to personally go into the business arena to help create employment opportunities for their people while supporting the economic growth of the country.