Business Development Minister seeks deeper ties with India

Ibrahim Awal Mohammed

Minister for Business Development, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, has appealed for an enduring partnership between the private sectors of Ghana and India to enhance the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both countries. 

Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Birender Singh, Alhaji Awal said the expertise and experience of India in growing the private sector would be of importance to Ghana as it moved to improve and support the Ghanaian private sector to grow and create jobs. 

 “Our government is a business-friendly one. We are committed to the removal of all obstacles that hinder business growth in the country. For us the private sector is the driver of business and government had committed itself in engaging the private sector very well,” he said.

“It is a special appeal I have to make to you. Help us support and improve the private sector, especially the SMEs in terms of training and access to affordable capital as well as technology and innovation so that the private sector can expand and employ people,” Alhaji Awal added.

Alhaji Awal said government created the Ministry for Business Development to give life to the SME sector, which constitute over 90 per cent of businesses and contribute about 60 to 70 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

He said it was, therefore, important to look at the challenges of the SME sector and initiate policies and programmes to solve them.

“Out of every 10 businesses that start –up, seven of them collapse before they are five years. It is not good at all we need to reverse that trend. We can only do that by equipping SMEs with innovation, technical skills, the knowhow and affordable capital, he said.

Alhaji Awal said government would need to concentrate on the large youthful group between the ages of 18-25 equipping them with the skills and giving them the know-how so that they can start their businesses and ensure that they grow.

“We want this partnership to be an enduring partnership where our young private sector would become competitive. The way to survive is to make them competitive. So we will tap on India’s expertise and experience,” he said.

He said government would continue to improve the business climate by removing the obstacles to businesses so as to attract more investors. 

On his part, the India High Commissioner said the government was ready to provide the necessary facilitation for Ghanaian businesses and their Indian counterparts to exchange ideas.

He said Ghana has all the essential ingredients to attract investments, citing a stable democracy and rule of law. 

He said India like Ghana is heavily dependent on SMES for growth and employment, adding that it was in that direction that the Indian government provides incentives such as start up capital, tax incentives, and training programmes to enhance growth.

Mr Singh said India would be ready to share its expertise and experience with Ghana.

Source: GNA

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