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23.01.2006 Business & Finance

Foreign Investors urged to utilise raw materials

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Accra, Jan 23, GNA - Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Monday appealed to foreign investors to establish companies in Ghana to add value to the numerous raw materials produced in the country.

He said it was not enough to always export raw materials from the country and have them re-imported in their processed forms. Mr Agyemang, who was welcoming Mr Mahalil Hi Baharam, the new Malaysian High Commissioner to Ghana, to his office in Accra said the longstanding good relations between Ghana and Malaysia had been most fruitful economically and that in recent times imports from Malaysia had gone up significantly.

Mr Agyemang acknowledged Malaysia's achievements in the housing sector and said the two countries could jointly invest about 100 million dollars into housing projects in Ghana.

He said out of about three Malaysian companies that had expressed the interest to invest in affordable housing in Ghana, one had begun work on the first four storey buildings "which is very encouraging". Mr Agyemang said many prospects for mutual gain existed in the country and noted that what was most important was for interests to be balanced.

Mr Baharam said the stable political atmosphere in Ghana coupled with the country's reputation for great hospitality towards foreigners made it most attractive to investors, adding that the volume of trade between Ghana and Malaysia increased by 30 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

Touching on potential areas of investment, Mr Baharam said apart from housing, other areas that Malaysia lent great consideration to included water, roads and plantations.

He said from the present level of trade and cooperation between the two countries there was a lot of hope so far as future trade relations between Ghana and Malaysia were concerned. Mr Issa Ketekewu and Mrs Gladys Amoa Boateng, two Deputy Ministers were with the Minister to receive Mr Baharam.