12.03.2005 General News

Government to institute awards for stakeholders in

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Accra, March 12, GNA - Government is to institute a national day award for players in the industrial sector, Mr Alan Kyeremanten Minister of Trade and Industry announced on Friday night. The Minister, who made this known at the third Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) awards night in Accra said government would liaise with the AGI to make this a reality in the near future. He said: "Ghana has come far to start taking industrialisation seriously by making a national commitment towards its development. We do not have to wait till INDUTECH are organised before we honour our heroes. "If we are able to double the growth rate of industry to GDP, we can achieve per capita income of $1,000, which would catapult the country into the middle income economy."

Mr. Kyeremanten urged the central government to help the commercial banks to be able to assist industries and noted that there is the need to support, especially Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). "The time has come for us to take the SMEs seriously and we should focus on the private sector intervention by providing access to finance and training among others," the Minister said. This, he said, would give meaning to the resolve by government to make the private sector the engine of growth through giving recognition to the hard working individuals in the sector.

In a speech read for him, Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives said the implementation of the private sector strategy would ensure investment finance, access to land and improvement in productivity. He said the tax relief granted in this year's budget and the introduction of the venture capital were all strategies to encourage the private sector to thrive. The awards, which were instituted to encourage and motivate players in the industrial sector, went to over ten corporate organisations and seven industrialists whose contribution in diverse ways had helped in the growth of the sector.

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