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03.08.2005 Business & Finance

MAN Diesel To Establish Assembling Plant


THE government has started negotiations with MAN Diesel, an international vehicle company, to establish the first truck manufacturing and assembling plant in the country.

Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who announced this in Accra yesterday, said the negotiations were yielding positive results.

He said it would not take a long time for feasibility studies to be carried out after the negotiations had been completed for the establishment of the plant as part of the government's strategy to leap-frog the economy from stabilisation to accelerated growth.

Speaking at the opening of a stakeholders' workshop on the Technology Innovation Centre for Capital Goods (TCCE), the minister said it was only through accelerated growth that the government could break the cycle of poverty in the country.

"As part of the programme, the government is expected to provide a factory site, communication facilities within the operational area of the factory and also adequate power for manufacturing," he said.

Mr Kyerematen said Ghana imported nearly $1.3 billion of metal engineering products last year, varying from bolts and nuts to automotive products, of which about half were machinery, mechanical and transport equipment, excluding automobiles.

Mr Kyerematen said the greatest challenge facing the country was how to achieve accelerated growth, since the stabilisation of the economy was not enough to generate more employment avenues.

He explained that the nominal and marginal growth chalked under the stabilisation of the economy was, therefore, not being tangibly felt in the living conditions of the people.

He said the establishment of the high precision machinery centre in the country was, therefore, to serve the needs of industry, as well as the truck manufacturing and assembling plant, in the country.

Mr Kyerematen said the trade ministry sought to provide assistance for commercial and industrial activities in the country to support the development of a modern, robust manufacturing sector driven by science and technology and a competitive advantage.

That, he said, would enable the sector to exploit domestic and international markets on a sustainable basis to generate higher growth rates in the sector and contribute towards poverty reduction in the country.

He said the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) was co-operating with the government in setting up the TCCE to develop the country's capabilities in the manufacture of various kinds of machines.

Mr Kyerematen urged the private sector to take active interest in the project to contribute towards increasing Ghana's Gross Domestic Product per capita, create employment for engineering technicians and export high value-added non-traditional exports to enable Ghana to become a middle- income economy.