Kumasi, Aug. 27, GNA - The Ministry of Trade and Industry has commenced implementation of programmes under the new Industrial Reform and Accelerated Growth Programme to enhance the capacity of private sector establishments to offer better services to the business community.
Mr. Allan Kyerematen, the sector Minister, who announced this, said the move was also to make visible investment opportunities in all the districts in the country with the view to integrating rural economies in the mainstream of economic activities.
Mr. Kyerematen was speaking at the second Ashanti Business Excellence Awards night at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi on Friday.
The programme, which was organised under the auspices of the Manhyia Palace, saw a total of 34 private institutions, entrepreneurs, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) being awarded for their contribution towards the development of tourism, health, commerce, construction, mining, energy and agro-forestry in the Ashanti Region.
Mr Kyerematen said among the programmes being implemented by his Ministry were the District Industries Programme, Technology Improvement Programme and Promotion of Barons of Trade into captains of industry, adding that plans were also far advanced for the establishment of a Technology Innovation Centre for Capital Goods.
The Centre, he said, would be expected to produce plant and equipment for industrial activities.
The Trade and Industry Minister called on SMEs to work towards the exploration of new ideas and technologies as a measure to creating opportunities for growth in their operations.
He expressed the hope that the economic indicators as they stood now were positive and more encouraging to kick-start a wave of investments urgently needed to transform the country into a middle-income economy with a per capita income of, at least 1,000 dollars.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, in a message delivered on his behalf, commended the award winners for exhibiting excellence and good corporate governance, stressing that they should be abreast with the changes in the business environment, which was becoming more dynamic. Mr. Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister of Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives (PSI), noted that the government would continuously assess the barriers to growth and prosperity of businesses and take steps to eliminate them and therefore, called on the private sector to forge stronger partnership with it for the realisation of this objective.