Business News of 2014-06-26

700 million Euro fund for SMEs

The Dutch government has announced a 700 million Euro initiative to support the development of small and medium scale enterprises in emerging countries, including Ghana.

Ms Lilianne Ploumen, the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, told a press conference to round up her visit to Ghana that, the fund would be disbursed in loans and guarantees to both Dutch entrepreneurs and their Ghanaian counterparts.

She said the Netherlands is promoting transition from aid to trade in her bilateral relations with Ghana, adding that, the aid budget is being refocused to lead the promotion of the private sector and an increase of government revenues through taxation.

She said another area of focus of the Dutch-Ghana bilateral relations is Public-Private Partnership, where they are working with government and other companies like Unilever Ghana Limited and Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, in the areas of water and sanitation. There are also interventions in the cocoa sector to support farmers to improve productivity and also do away with child labour.

Besides, the Netherlands government is working with the customs division to ensure smooth processes to enhance trade and increase tax collection and also to improve on tax services to the citizens.

Early this year, the Ghana Revenue Authority and The Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration (DTVA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which the Netherlands would assist the Customs Division to improve its skills in the areas of trade facilitation, risk management and valuation.

Ms Ploumen said that the Dutch entrepreneurs had expertise in life science, health, agriculture, water, sanitation and other sectors. “We encourage our Dutch entrepreneurs to invest in Ghana, since they have a lot of interest in the Ghanaian economy,” she added.

Trade between Ghana and the Netherlands had doubled over the years with Ghana importing goods worth 1.2 billion Euros from the Netherlands in 2013. During the period Ghana exported goods worth 700 million Euros to the Netherlands. Ms Ploumen was in the country with a 50-member business delegation.

Source: GNA
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