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Apr 16, 2014

Trade Minister Meets the Press


Government has developed a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy to encourage industries to improve their impact in the communities where they operate by addressing wider social and environmental challenges, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has disclosed.

The policy, Mr Iddrisu said, would provide a framework within which Government and industries, through a collaborative effort, could improve the health, safety and well-being of the people.

He said the Trade and Industry Ministry had not given up on its efforts to help protect the health and economic interests of Ghanaian consumers, adding that, work on a revised Consumer Protection Policy had been completed and ready for submission to Cabinet for approval.

The Minister was speaking when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra, yesterday, to present the programmes, activities, achievements and challenges of the ministry.

Touching on Industrial promotion, Mr Iddrisu said in response to a Presidential directive to strengthen local manufacturing production capacities, the Ministry had initiated a process of supporting five companies in each of the following priority sub-sectors namely: Pharmaceutical, Textiles and Garments, Agro-processing, Poultry and Wood-processing, adding that applications for funding support from companies in these sub-sectors had been forwarded to EDAIF for consideration.

He disclosed further that government had secured an Indian Exim Bank facility of 35 million US dollars (US$ 35million) to establish a new sugar factory at Komenda and that a contract had been signed with a firm to undertake the civil and engineering works as well as the establishment of an irrigation scheme for high yielding sugar cane plantation to feed the factory.

Mr Iddrisu was of the view that the factory was expected to create employment especially within the catchment area and would help reduce the importation of Ghana’s sugar requirement, currently estimated at 375,000 tons per annum.

He said the factory would produce value-added by-products such as energy and alcohol to support industry.

He disclosed that government had secured a suitable land, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Marubeni Corporation of Japan to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study and also prepare front-end engineering designs   for the  establishing a new sugar estate at Savelugu.

Furthermore, the Minister said Government, through the Ministry, had initiated the development of modern industrial zones throughout the country to facilitate the industrialization process.

This, he said, would ensure the availability of serviced plots with provision of utilities, other industry-essential infrastructure and promote spatial distribution of industries throughout the country.

Mr Iddrisu disclosed that, a 60 acre plot of land in Tamale had already been acquired and had also identified suitable lands in the Volta, Northern (Buipe), Western (Shama) and Upper West (Wa) Regions for similar projects.

On multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, the Minister said, in order to continue enjoying market access for its exports to EU, Ghana would be guided by the collective position of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in conformity with the region’s common goal.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney & Benjamin Tando