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27.06.2005 Business & Finance

VALCO operations to start on Friday

GNA
VALCO operations to start on Friday

Accra, June 27, GNA - The Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) is set to start operations on Friday as part of an accelerated programme to reinvigorate the aluminium smelting industry in the country. The restart of operations of VALCO, according to President John Agyekum Kufuor, who was speaking at the just-ended sixth Ghana Investors' Advisory Council (GIAC) Meeting in Akosombo, was in connection with the introduction of the Aluminium Company of America (ALCOA) to establish an integrated industry.

ALCOA took over the operations of VALCO after the expiration of an agreement with the Government of Ghana in 2003. Kaiser Aluminium, which owed 90 per cent of the company, initiated the move with the Ghana Government, which owns the remaining 10 per cent. VALCO was established about 40 years ago in the First Republic.

The Council, established in May 2004, advises the President on issues that hampered the promotion of Ghana as the preferred destination for both domestic and foreign direct investments in the West Africa Sub-Region. It is a high level and informal advisory group, chaired by President Kufuor comprising top-level corporate executives, who would assist to increase understanding between government and companies driving investments.

The Council also includes a 30-member group of top-level executives of foreign and Ghanaian businesses. A press statement issued at the end of the Meeting said the Government was committed to pursue the thematic areas and Action Plans of the various sectors of the economy. The Meeting said progress on the labour reforms would be made including the establishment of a National Labour Commission and its Secretariat as well as land reforms including data on land suitability maps covering all the 10 regions. Also to receive attention is the financial sector reforms including the Act establishing the Venture Capital Fund, the Long Term Savings Scheme and the credit bureau regulatory body. The relevant sector Ministers also examined the establishment of a private Extension Service Delivery System to strengthen agricultural services.

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