€10m Italian Gov’t Support For Smes

Hurana IddrisuThe bilateral relationship between Ghana and Italy was last Friday given a further boost with a 10-million Euro Italian Government credit facility to the government.

It is to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to successfully ignite private sector development.

The facility, which was initiated under the Ghana Private Sector Development project of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has disbursed 3.3 million Euros to some selected SMEs.

Enterprises to access the facility will utilise it to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and machinery from Italy to expand.

To guarantee the sustainability of the facility, a team of experts comprising representatives of the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Finance and Economic Planning, Association of Ghana Industries and Bank of Ghana, has been tasked to manage it.

At a press conference to provide a forum for government to indulge SMEs and the private sector to create awareness in the availability of the facility which can be accessed, Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry, conceded that the realisation of the full potential of the sector had been hampered by significant challenges.

The challenges, he noted, related to the acquisition and application of appropriate technology, access to finance, logistics management, human resource capacity building, distribution and marketing.

“Government is also convinced that the potential of Small and Medium Enterprises to stimulate such growth is huge as they presently contribute to over 80 per cent of the country’s GDP”, he said.

Mr. Iddrisu appealed to all those who would benefit from the facility and all those who had benefitted from existing financing facilities to ensure that they kept to the schedule of repayment and work with the team of experts.

Laura Carpini, Italian Ambassador to Ghana, lauded Ghana for choosing Italy as a privileged partner for a highly sensitive sector for the utilisation of the latest Italian technology.

She was hopeful that enterprises would take advantage of the facility to develop and consolidate the economy to sustain them.

Madam Carpini assured start-ups and existing companies of her country’s willingness to sustain the bilateral relationship to enable them to benefit from Italian technology and also include them in undertaking other initiatives. By Winston Tamakloe

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