A group of Korean investors are currently in Ghana to explore business opportunities.
The group has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government to build 50,000 affordable housing units, with plans to also construct seven factories under the one-district, one-factory initiative.
Speaking to the Graphic Business on the sidelines of a meeting in Accra, the Executive Director of Firm 2223 Consult, the consultants for the investors, Mr Percy Dennis, said the group was currently in the country for the housing project and had signed the MoU with the government, awaiting the commercial agreement.
“We also want to build factories here under the government’s one-district, one-factory initiative,” he noted.
He said the factories would include a noodles factory, a lead and bulb factory, a water purification factory, car assembling factory and also go into large onion cultivation.
“We are here because Ghana is developing. Korea is a small country and we, therefore, need markets outside the country,” he said.
“We are here to create jobs, produce for the local market, as well as the export market,” he added.
He said a lot of companies from Korea had contacted his firm and they were ready to do business in the country.
“We have a letter of intent from SsangYong to establish its plant in the country and there are many other companies who have also submitted their letters of intent,” he noted.
Timelines on 1D1F projects
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka Lindsay, also told the newspaper that the government would no longer give deadlines on when the factories under its flagship programme, the one-district, one-factory, would be completed.
He said although the government was doing all it could to expedite the process, when the factories would be ready depended on the investors involved and the government would, therefore, not give timelines again.
“The 1D1F initiative is private-sector led and the factories are not being built by the government but the private sector so the time frame will depend on them,” he stated.
“There are many factories that we have seen built by the government and have become white elephants, and this doesn’t help so we don’t want to repeat mistakes of the past,” he added.
He said the time frame for the completion of the factories would, therefore, depend on the investors.
Giving an update on the policy, he said the ministry had so far received close to 1,000 business plans.
He said 50 of those had started their journeys, with 100 of them at the stage of business approval.
“Another 250 are in the pipeline and the commitment is still there. We will deliver the factories by 2020 as promised,” he said.
Touching on the decision of the Korean investors to invest in the 1D1F initiative, he said it was good news and a demonstration of how critical the policy was.
“At the end of the day, the most critical aspect is when the business people themselves understand the policy and are prepared to put their own capital in it. From the government perspective, it means the policy is working,” he explained.
“We will do whatever we can to make sure we assist them, and that assistance will come from the district level. That is why we have set up district implementation teams in each of the 254 districts so they are there and willing to engage,” he added.
He said the government would continue to provide the right environment and support systems for investors who wished to participate in the 1D1F initiative. — GB