Business News of 2014-06-15

Finatrade, Distell Group to set up bottling plant in Tema

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has asked investors not to be deterred by the short-term challenges the economy is going through, emphasising that the government remains determined to succeed.

The minister said notwithstanding the short-term challenges of dealing with the twin evils of fiscal and budget deficits, the economic prospects of the country remained brighter for the future.

Mr Iddrisu said this on behalf of the President at the inauguration of a bottling plant for the production of internationally recognised Cider brands of Hunters and Savanna, as well as Knights Whisky range of alcoholic beverages at Tema.

The GH¢16 million facility is a partnership between the Distell Group, a South African-based global player in the alcoholic beverage market with an annual turnover of GH¢5 billion, and Finatrade, a leading West African agri-commodities and branded foods company which has well-established distribution strengths in Ghana and on surrounding markets.

Mr Iddrisu lauded the partnership between Distell Group and Finatrade, calling on them to identify a locally related agricultural commodity that could be used for the production of the beverages in order to benefit from some tax exemption incentives.

“Having attained low middle-income status, it is the expectation of the government to transit into an upper-income economy and this can only be achieved with viable interventions such as this,” he said.

Goods from the ports

He said the ministry was working to ensure that the laws governing the flow of goods from the ports to customs-bounded warehouses were reviewed and made possible for the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to work 24 hours to enhance efficiency, hinting that the process would come into force by January 1, 2015.

The minister noted that the government was working closely with the Customs Division of the GRA to deal with smuggling, counterfeiting and pirating, with the aim of protecting local investments.

He advised the management of the new venture to work closely with the Tema Traditional Authority and, if possible, give the Paramount Chief, Nii Adjei Krakue II, and his council a special dispensation in the recruitment processes in order to carry the council along and support the chief in his traditional governance process.

The Chief Executive Officer of Distell Group Limited, Mr Richard Rushton, observed that Distell was combining its proven production and marketing expertise with the local marketing, sales and distribution knowledge of Finatrade to bring top quality products at competitive prices to Ghana.

“Our partnership, will yield benefits way beyond the two investment parties. Already, we are creating jobs which will enhance the lives of many families and stimulate the local economy.”

He lauded Ghana’s GDP growth, which he described as “a fine example for the entire African continent.”

The Chairman of Finatrade, Mr Nabil Moukarzel, said the partnership with Distell was a good example of two African companies pooling their respective skills to promote trade.

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