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01.07.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana to seek more support from Japan

GNA

From Hilda Abban, GNA Special Correspondent, Aichi, Japan

Aichi Prefecture, Japan, July 1 GNA - The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyeremanteng on Thursday announced that Ghana was seeking more investment support from Japan to enhance the growth of the industrial sector of the country. He said Ghana wanted Japan to support her in the establishment of a vehicle assembly plant as well as in electronics manufacturing factories.

Mr Kyeremanteng, stated this in an address at the Ghana 'National Day' celebration held in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan as part of activities of the 'World Expo 2005, under the theme: 'Nature's Wisdom', which is geared towards "building a new civilization in harmony with the mechanisms of nature". Ghana's sub-theme for her national day celebration was: "Sustainable Development of Natural Resources- a Key to Wealth Creation. About 125 countries throughout the world including 28 from Africa, are taking part in the 185-day exposition, which began on March 25 2005 and is scheduled to end on September 25.

The Minister hinted that in pursuance of this, the Government "hoped to hold discussions with Toyota Corporation in Japan, towards the establishment of the vehicle plant. Mr Kyerementeng, stressed Ghana's determination to become one of Africa's most prosperous countries for the benefit of her citizens, and that she had over the years, laid a strong foundation towards achieving this. He, however, pointed out that such an achievement, could not have been possible without the support of her development partners including Japan, which country, he expressed gratitude to for her financial and technical support.

Mr Kyeremanteng also paid tribute, to Dr N Hideyo Noguchi, and described the Nugochi Memorial Research Centre, as a befitting memorial for him. On the exposition itself, the Minister said it depicted the recognition of global interdependence in utilizing the natural resources of the world for the betterment of all peoples. " The theme 'Nature's Wisdom' brings our minds to the dangers that all mankind faces if we do not use nature's gifts responsibly. Our very survival depends entirely on how well we protect nature", he declared. He said it was in this regard, that Ghana had chosen the sub-theme of "Sustainable Development of Natural Resources- a Key for Wealth Creation", to emphasize her commitment to the harmonious use of nature's gifts and to highlight the role that it played in realizing her developmental objectives.

Ambassador Yasuyoshi Ichihashi, Vice-Commissioner -General of the World Exposition, praised Ghana's central role in ensuring peace and stability on the African Continent and said the international community, recognised Ghana's efforts. According to him, Ghana had over the years, been devoted to democracy and nation building, and particularly praised President john Agyekum Kufuor for "establishing good governance based on the rule of law". He also lauded the relationship between his country and Ghana, because of Dr Noguchi, and said Japanese consumers, particularly, loved the chocolate produced from Ghana's cocoa

The Vice-Commissioner -General, said he was optimistic that with Ghana's vast natural resources, her economy would improve in the coming years. Mr Ichihashi, also touched on Ghana -Japanese cooperation, through the Japan Overseas Volunteer Cooperation (JOVC), and said his country had since 1977, sent a total of 800 volunteers to work in areas such as health, education and sports.

Earlier, the Ghana's National Dance Company had held the audience at the 'Expo Hall' spellbound with rich and diverse traditional dances as part of Ghana National Day celebration. Some selected school children and adults from Ichinomiya, in the Prefecture, which adopted Ghana as part of the activities of the exposition, held a fashion parade, portraying various costumes in Ghana. Mr Kyerematen, later visited the Japan Pavilion, the Japanese Railway Pavilion and the stands of countries in the Block B of the Africa joint pavilion, which included Ghana's stand.

Speaking to the GNA later, the Minister said he was impressed with Africa's participation in the exposition, as well as with Ghana's stand, which he said was drawing a lot of visitors with her exhibits. Ghana's stand, among others, boasts of her rich national traditional Kente, her wildlife and tourist attractions and by-products of cocoa, such as cocoa liquid soap, cocoa alcoholic beverages and cocoa vinegar. Most of the Japanese, the GNA talked to just said; "chocolate" when asked about Ghana, were fascinated with the cocoa pod on display.

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