Govt’s 6 strategies for industrial growth
Trade and Industry Minister-designate Alan Kyerematen has identified six strategies to be adopted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in its industrial transformation agenda.
Mr Kyerematen told the Appointments Committee of Parliament when he appeared before vetting on Monday January 23 that if given the nod to become the substantive minister, he would facilitate the party’s six strategic pillars to support the private sector and also transform the economy.
He told the committee: “First [we’ll] facilitate access to capital, particularly medium- to long-term capital. We all recognise that it is not as if the banks in this country do not provide credit and financing but we know it is the tenure of the credit that they provide, which is a challenge for our companies. So our first focus will be on facilitating access to medium- and long- term capital. It is in this regard that we’ve made a number of commitments. First is to refocus the operations of the National Investment Bank to provide medium- to long-term credit.”
“Secondly, we’ve proposed the establishment of The Industrial Development Fund, which will literally do the same thing, and also we’ve talked about reviving and recapitalising existing financial intermediation that will also produce the same thing.
“The third element is the establishment of a number of strategic anchor industries including the petrochemical industry, iron and steel industry, integrated aluminium bauxite industry, the pharmaceutical industry, vehicle assembly and automotive industry, and also last but not the least the manufacturing of machinery and equipment and components. The reason why we are focusing on these mega anchor industries is because we are talking about transformation. The stimulus package for existing companies will make a contribution. There is no doubt about that. The One-District-One-Factory will make a contribution but if you are looking at transformational change, then you are looking at these anchor industries that will have a fundamental long lasting effect on our economy.
“The fourth component is to now zero in on domestic trade. If we are going to support local industries then obviously we have to be concerned about how we help them with their domestic trade agenda. And so we will be looking at a number of interventions [and] helping to improve and modernise domestic retail infrastructure. …We also want to use our local content provisions [and] legislation to support the consumption of locally made goods.
“Now the fifth component is to promote exports. Again if we did all that I’ve talked about and do not focus on how we expand our export base we’ll not generate enough foreign exchange to support our local currency. So underpinning all these is a very aggressive programme to export development.
“For over a century we’ve been relying on cocoa, gold and timber as our major export crops and we believe that it is time for us to look at export diversification and in this regard, we are not going to just look at our export destination that has served us well for many years. We are going to concentrate on the continental and regional market. I’m sure, Mr Chairman, it will be pleasing for members to note that there is something major going to happen in Africa which is not yet on the radar of many countries – which is, Africa is going to become a common market, a continental free zone by 2017. So those countries who will take the lead in transforming their productive infrastructure to industrialisation now will have an opportunity to export to the whole of Africa duty-free, quota-free. So that is also the basis for our export programme. We’ll still look at AGOA because I think it provides significant opportunities for export revenue generation and of course the IPAS is also an opportunity for us to diversify.
“Last but not the least is business development and investment, particularly in respect to small business promotion. And we are proposing a new entrepreneurship and innovation plan which will enhance our support to small and medium enterprises. So these are the six strategic pillars underpinning our industrial transformation agenda.”