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11.06.2005 Business & Finance

SMEs urge to take advantage of drop in lending rate

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Accra, June 11, GNA - Mr Asamoah Boateng, Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City Deputy Minister, on Friday urged Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to take advantage of the drop in the lending rate to access credit from financial institutions to expand their businesses. ''Do not be deterred since the interest rate is reduced and therefore your investment risk has also fallen so go out there and borrow from the financial institutions to expand your businesses and make profit to improve your income levels'', he said.

The Bank of Ghana has reduced its prime rate from 18.5 percent to about 16.5 percent as a result most commercial banks were compelled to also reduce their base lending rates.

Addressing over 60 professional caterers who passed out at the EKGS Institute of Advanced Cake Designing and D=E9cor in Accra, Mr Boateng said policies of the government had created the right environment for businesses to thrive.

He said conditions prevailing were not only for large-scale businesses but more especially the informal SMEs who wanted their businesses to grow and flourish.

The Deputy Minister urged the graduants not to remain as individual private business people but should form partnership in order to take advantage of their unique skill and knowledge acquisition. ''Through partnership and good relationship with your peers in business, you will be able learn from each other and have the muscle to pull the greatest returns,'' Mr Boateng said.

Mrs Efua Goode-Arthur, the Director of the school, said the importance of skill training for human resource development could not be overemphasised since wealth creation is hinged largely on it. ''If majority of people in the country lack skill to be productive, wealth cannot be created,'' she said.

Mrs Goode-Arthur appealed to the government to consider extending the student loan facility to the informal sector especially those in private institutions.

The graduands' handy and creative works, which came in several cake designs, variety of dishes, and different kinds of flora designs for interior and exterior decorations, were exhibited for sale. Each of them received a certificate of attendance.

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