The Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has appealed to the Indian government to support Ghana to develop the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) sector to thrive.
He particularly entreated the India government to provide Ghana with funds to train the youth with employable skills, provide them with soft loans to establish their own businesses and also transfer the India’s technology and innovation to Ghana to spur the growth of the SME sector.
Mr Awal made the appeal in Accra yesterday when the High Commissioner of India to Ghana, Birender Singh paid a courtesy call on him.
It was to congratulate him on his appointment as the Minister of Business Development and invite him to India next month for an investment forum to be organised by the Indian government and an Indian trade exhibition currently underway in Accra.
He said the SME sector held great prospects for the development of the country through job creation and there was the need to support the sector to grow.
“The SME sector in Ghana constituted 90 per cent of jobs in the country and contributed 70 per cent of Gross Domestic Product,” the minister said.
He said a closer collaboration between the two countries could go a long way to help build a robust SME industry in Ghana, considering India’s advancement in technology and innovation.
Mr Awal said government was committed to building a thriving private sector, saying “the private sector is important to the growth of the Ghanaian economy and creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths”.
“This government is a business friendly government. We are committed to removing the obstacles that hinder the growth of the private sector,” he said.
Mr Singh who is concurrently accredited to Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Togo in his remarks said India was ready to partner Ghana to accelerate the growth of the economy.
He said India was excited about Ghana because of the country’s friendly business climate and stable democracy.
“This is the reason why a lot of Indian investors have invested and continue to invest in Ghana,” Mr Singh said.
He said, the Indian High Commission in Ghana had facilitated an exhibition, currently underway in Accra and was being attended by 58 exhibitors from India, adding that a similar exhibition would be organised in Ghana in August this year.
Mr Singh said the exhibition was to create a platform for networking between Ghanaian and Indian investors, indicating that one of the functions of the Indian High Commission to Ghana was to facilitate the flow of people and investment between Ghana and India.
Mr Singh said the minister’s visit to India would provide him opportunity to learn how India developed her SME sector.
Currently, he said, the India government was pursuing an aggressive campaign to support the SME sector provide the youth with soft loans and skills training to establish their own business.
By Kingsley Asare