Automobile Industry to spur import substitution and exports of Ghanaian products to Africa- Ken Ofori-Atta

GOVERNMENT says it intends to use the development in the automobile industry as a catalyst for import substitution and exports of Ghanaian products within the African region.

Speaking at the Mid-Year Policy Review in Parliament yesterday, Finance Minister said the automobile industry is considered by the government as a strategic anchor and one that has the potential to transform the economy.

“Ghana is well positioned to become the new automobile manufacturing hub in Africa”, Ken Ofori-Atta stated.

Giving details on the sector, he said the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy on Industrial Transformation Agenda is a significant step towards import substitution and boost exports within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

The introduction of a comprehensive Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy, government sources say, have attracted leading global automobile companies to the country.

In March this year, the Volkswagen Group rolled out the first VW locally assembled vehicle in the country. VW Ghana is currently producing six different brands of vehicles, namely Tiguan, Teramont, Amarok, Passat, Polo and Caddy,

Sinotruk, a leading global manufacturer of Heavy Duty Trucks is also assembling a variety of trucks in the country through Zonda Tec Ghana Limited.

The only indigenous Ghanaian company, the Kantanka Group has also been formally granted a license to continue their auto assembly operations in Ghana and to benefit from incentives under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy, Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed.

To consolidate these gains so far, the government, the Finance Minister noted, will establish an Automobile Industry Development Center in the country.

The Centre will among other things, coordinate the technical processes for licensing vehicle assemblers and manufacturers and monitor their compliance with industry regulations and standards.

The Center will also coordinate the implementation of a Vehicle Financing Scheme which will link financial institutions to individuals and groups interested in purchasing newly assembled vehicles in Ghana.

Furthermore, it will manage an Automotive Skills and Technology Upgrading Programme to provide requisite skills for the industry.

“The continued and successful implementation of these interventions is delivering real relief to our people. Effectively, we are gradually building a stronger foundation for a more inclusive transformation of our country”, the Minister concluded.

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