Minister Nominee for Trade and Industry, Alan John Kyerematen has assured that government will facilitate access to medium and long term capital as a key way to enhance the private sector.
Speaking at the Appointments Committee of parliament, Mr. Kyerematen maintained that providing capital is key to realizing the One-District- One-Factory pledge made by the government during the electioneering campaign.
He argued that providing capital for the private sector will remove difficulties SMEs face in raising credit through commercial banks.
“We all recognize 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 they provide which is a challenge for our companies”.
He pointed out that government will focus on the private sector as a way to lead industrial transformation in the country.
Responding to how specifically the Ministry of Trade and Industry would ensure the competitiveness of local industries , Mr Kyerematen explained that government will do an assessment of the situation with member associations of the private sector .
“We would undertake a diagnostic study, let’s say for instance we have a hundred companies that are potentially viable but are currently distressed. We us we are sitting now will not be able to determine the specific support that they need to improve their competitiveness so the starting point is for us to conduct an audit of these companies and identify exactly what they require to become competitive and then we will provide a comprehensive package of support in order to improve their competitiveness”.
He maintained that it will be practically difficult if an assessment is not first taken on the challenges making the private sector uncompetitive even though access to funds is a major contributor.
“Even at the risk of sounding competitive I’m suggesting that the only way we can come to a determination as to what they require to become competitive is to do a diagnostic study,” he said.
“Some of the companies may only need marketing support, some may require an infusion of new technology, some may require additional investment capital so it is important that we do it on a case by case basis. So the important thing is for our private sector to appreciate and recognize that the government is committed to making sure that the private sector survives and leads the process of transformation and that is why we are starting with existing companies,” he added.
By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana