Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen made a case for Ghana during the US President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) virtual roundtable on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Alan Kyerematen appealed to the leaders of PAC-DBIA, Ambassador Sullivan and Ms. Camille Richardson, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Commerce who moderated the session to speed up the process of releasing the US EXIM Bank credit facility and JP Morgan’s 300 Million One District One Factory Program (1D1F).
The amount of the facility is mainly intended for the provision of capital goods and machinery, as well as the construction of factory infrastructure for beneficiary business developers in Ghana under the 1D1F Initiative, a- he declared.
He further indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging all countries and has disrupted the economic programs of countries around the world.
However, Ghana is seizing the opportunities arising from the pandemic to refocus attention on industrialization, he added.
PAC-DBIA advises the US President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on ways to strengthen trade engagement between the US and African countries.
Members of the Advisory Council in Washington are drawn from small, medium, and large US businesses and corporations representing a wide range of industries and economic sectors.
The current PAC-DBIA is co-chaired by Laura Lane, President of Global Public Affairs for UPS, and Farid Fezoua, President and CEO of GE Africa, with Susan Silbermann, Global President of Emerging Markets for Pfizer, as Vice- president.
Kyerematen, who was the special guest of the 2021 virtual roundtable, said Ghana and the United States have enjoyed fraternal relations over the past decades, adding that the two countries have also cooperated well on the global stage to promote sustainable development, peace and security.
This was manifested by the number of US investments and companies operating in Ghana in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, he said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, who served as Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States between 2001 and 2003 under President Kufuor, said that since 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has been implementing a plan to industrial transformation in ten points, aiming to make Ghana the new Hub for the sub-region.
Economic cooperation and partnership between Ghana and the United States is therefore essential to achieve this industrial transformation in order to promote sustainable economic development, he added.
Mr. Kyerematen recalled that a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ghana and the United States in July 2018, aimed to increase private sector participation in Ghana’s economy and provides support to help Ghana develop selected priority and strategic sectors of the economy to achieve Ghana Beyond Aid.
Priority projects under this MoU include the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative and agro-industrial projects.
He added that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, together with other ministries, departments and agencies, has started the implementation of the business regulatory reform program aimed at creating a better regulatory framework for the private sector invests in job creation.
Mr Kyerematen said the program has removed bottlenecks and automated processes in some MDAs, reducing business incorporation from 14 days in 2017 to 3 days in 2021, obtaining a permit business operation from 7 days to 1 day, while the payment of taxes has been automated. with the introduction of the electronic declaration and payment platform facilitating compliance with tax obligations.
The Minister of Commerce informed the audience that Ghana offers an attractive incentive and a pleasant business environment for US investors.
By investing in Ghana, he ensured that US investors have guaranteed access to the US market under AGOA, to the European Union (EU) market under the Economic Partnership Agreement Ghana-EU Interim Agreement (EPA), to the UK market under the Ghana Interim Agreement. – The UK Trade Partnership Agreement and the African market under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
Other speakers at the virtual roundtable included Ambassador Sullivan, US Ambassador to Ghana, Laura Lane from UPS, Jason Brantley from John Deer Group, Takreem El-Tohamy from IBM, Peter Sullivan from Citi Bank , Sami Mainich of Dow Industries with Lawrence Agyensam, CEO of EXIM Bank of Ghana in attendance.