THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has given the assurance that the government will continue to engage the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to help remove all bottlenecks militating against the growth of local industries.
He stated that the government recognised the AGI as a partner in development and would, therefore, continue to listen to their suggestions and recommendations to help the government in its effort to use industrialisation as a catalyst for the country’s socio-economic development.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance when the executive council members of the AGI led by the President, Nana Owusu Afari called on him at his office in Sunyani last weekend.
The visit was part of their familiarisation tour to interact with stakeholders in the industrial sector of the economy in the region.
Other members of the AGI delegation were Mr Samuel Appenteng, vice-president; Mr Joe Hyde, National Treasurer; Rev. Lincoln Donkor, Council Member; Mr Cletus Kosiba and executive director of the AGI.
The visit was also to interact with members of the AGI in the region and to know at first-hand their challenges and how best it could be addressed to ensure growth in the industrial sector of the economy.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo further gave the assurance that the government was working around the clock to put in place measures to protect local industries from unfair trade competition and also against the dumping of inferior goods on the nation.
He called for a vigorous campaign for the patronage of Made-in-Ghana goods to boost industrial growth.
The regional minister urged the planning authorities of the various Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) to protect areas that had been zoned for industrial purposes in the region from being encroached upon.
He urged the MDAs to engage Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) in their fee-fixing resolution in order to come out with realistic fees to ensure the growth of industries in their areas of jurisdiction since SMSEs played an important role in the local economy.
In response to an appeal for office accommodation for the regional branch of the AGI, the regional minister said since the growth of industries was dear to the heart of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), the council was ready to grant the request of the association.
Nana Afari had earlier in his remarks, said the cost of doing business in Ghana was too high.
He said for that matter, the association would impress upon the government to address the situation to promote growth and expansion in the industrial sector of the economy.
Nana Afari, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afari Group of Companies, called on the government to review the country’s trade policies that were inimical to the growth of local industries.
He urged the government to put in place measures to curtail the importation of inferior goods especially products that are already being manufactured in the country to protect local industries from collapsing.
Nana Afari said it was the desire of the AGI to have offices in all the 10 regions of the country and the Brong Ahafo Region would be the first to have such facility, this year, to help champion the cause of industries in the region.
On behalf of the council, Nana Afari presented some publications of the association to the minister.
Members of the AGI delegation also visited the Oti Yeboah Complex Limited, an indigenous wood processing company at Abesim, near Sunyani, to acquaint themselves with the operations of the company.