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27.09.2004 Business & Finance

Minister proposes investment promotion centre

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Kumasi, Sept. 27, GNA - Mr Alan Kyeremateng, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative (PSI), has advocated the setting up of an Investment Promotion and Advisory Centre in Ashanti to promote and attract investment into the region. He suggested that, the centre when established, should be managed with the support of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) and EMPRETEC Ghana to identify and adopt new strategies in promoting specific investment potentials in the region.

Mr Kyeremateng was addressing the First Ashanti Business Excellence Awards in Kumasi at the weekend. It was held under the auspices of the Manhyia Palace.

About 40 small-scale industries, entrepreneurs and enterprises were awarded for commitment to creating a diversified, innovative, fully integrated and a resilient private sector led economy in the region.

Mr Kyeremateng expressed the hope that, the center, when established will also serve as an attraction for Ghanaians and investors living abroad to channel investment resources into specific viable ventures to facilitate the socio-economic development of the country. He said his ministry anticipated to assist about 30 potentially viable enterprises in Ashanti annually under the Technology Improvement Programme to undertake the rehabilitation and modernisation of plant, technology and human capacity, so as to increase their production and competitiveness.

The Minister said in view of the comparative advantage Ashanti had in the extensive range of business activities, there was the need for research institutions in the region to team up with companies and undertake research that will help industries to be innovative in their operations.

Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Private Sector Development, stressed that, to help sustain small-scale technology application in the country, Suame Magazine for instance, whose outputs were unparallel in Africa, should strive to be innovative not only to boost its size, but also to enhance its uniqueness as a major investment drive.

He called on the youth to take advantage of the Clothing Technology and Training Centre (CTTC) established in Kumasi recently to improve upon their skills to enhance their chances of being employed in the garment factories, which would be established in the region soon.

In a message read on his behalf, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II indicated that, as the PSI and the Rural Enterprise Development Programme formed the two major programmes that had the potential to radically transform the economic and business fortunes of the country, the private sector should always liaise with the government to achieve these objectives.

He said considering the meaningful role that the private sector played in the country's economic development; the awards would be institutionalised to motivate small-scale industries and entrepreneurs.