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01.04.2006 Business & Finance

Italians to operate spare parts factory in Ghana

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Kumasi, April 1, GNA - Discussions are going on between the government and Italian investors on the possibility of opening a factory in the country to produce vehicle spare parts to support the Metro Mass Transport Service.

Mr Fabrizio De Agostini, the Italian Ambassador in Ghana who disclosed this, said his government has established a 10 million-Euro credit line for medium and small-scale entrepreneurs in Ghana with low interest rate.

Speaking during a courtesy call on the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, he said the Italian government was also supporting some programmes in skills training in the country. Mr Agostini announced that Italian investors had brought in equipment and machines to restart the Pawlugu Tomato Factory in the Upper East region in addition to a new one being built in Tema. The envoy announced that the Italian government had approved a special quota that would allow 1,000 Ghanaians to be granted visas to be employed in various economic sectors in Italy this year. He explained that the special immigration quota was approved because there was a well-integrated Ghanaian community in Italy which was very active and vibrant.

Responding, Otumfuo Osei Tutu commended Italy for all these assistance and said Italy was reputed for the production of world class shoes and therefore appealed to the Ambassador to find some investors to purchase the Kumasi Shoe Factory which was on divestiture. The investors can install new machines and equipment at the factory to produce shoes for export to markets in the West African sub-region.

The Asantehene expressed gratitude to Italy for her assistance by supporting Ghana with some buses that started the Metro Mass Transport Service but noted that many of those buses broke down due to the problems with spare parts and therefore hoped that Italy would help bring them back on the road.

He expressed gratitude to the Italian government for the approval of the 1,000 visa quota for Ghanaians to work in that country and said what they would benefit Ghana economically.