Japan to establish JETRO office in Ghana

Mr Osafo-Maafo (right), in handshake with the Japanese Ambassador

Mr Osafo-Maafo (right), in handshake with the Japanese Ambassador

The Japanese government is set to establish a Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) office in Ghana as a way of building close collaboration with Ghana and other African countries.

This was announced by the new Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Tsutomu Himeno, on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, at his office.

JETRO is a Japanese government-related organisation that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

It was originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad. JETRO’s core focus in the twenty-first century has shifted towards promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximise their global export potential.

H.E. Tsutomu Himeno who was accompanied by Dr Masamichi Yamashita, in charge of international development, indicated that, the Japanese government was prepared to partner the government of Ghana in its industrialisation agenda through investment by the Japanese business community.

President Nana Akufo-Addo during his visit to Japan last year invited the Japanese government and the business community to invest in Ghana, and to take advantage of the automobile manufacturing development policy the Ghanaian government has initiated.

In his response, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, said the government had initiated the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy and some proposals have been received from well-known automotive companies in the world for the establishment of vehicle assembly plant.

The Senior Minister encouraged the Japanese government to take advantage of the opportunities in the automobile manufacturing industry.

He indicated that, Ghana had recently attracted considerable interest from major global vehicle manufacturers in response to the government’s prioritisation of the automotive sector as a key strategic anchor of Ghana’s industrialisation plan. According to the Senior Minister, 89 per cent of cars used in Ghana are second hand vehicles whilst 10 per cent are new cars.

“Ghana is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a highly favourable investment climate, relatively efficient and rapidly expanding infrastructure (energy, ports, roads and rail). The pursuit of industrialisation, places Ghana in a strategic position to become an automotive manufacturing hub in the ECOWAS sub-region,” he added.

The Senior Minister further encouraged the Japanese Ambassador to support the implementation of the Public Sector Reforms as a key mandate under his office which seeks to improve efficiency and service delivery for citizens and the private sector.

He revealed the World Bank was partly funding Ghana’s public sector reforms and asked the Japanese government which had an efficient public service delivery system to assist with the funding and implementation of the reform.

From: David Kodjo, Koforidua.


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