Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) attending the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 9) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, have been selling the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s policy of ‘One District, One Factory (1D1F)’ to potential investors.
Paying a courtesy call on the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, the MMDCEs, led by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive and National President of NALAG,
Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, said Ghana is ready to receive investors from Malaysia, who would want to partner the government in its flagship programme of industrialising the country through the 1D1F.
The 1D1F programme is being championed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The MMDCEs said Ghana has the right climate for investment and asked the host to impress on the Malaysian business community to take a look at Ghana in deciding where to invest their resources.
They particularly highlighted agro-businesses where Malaysia has a niche as the leading country in the cultivation of palm oil, which it processes into a number of products, as well as coconut and cocoa.
Currently, Malaysian investors are making plans to acquire lands for palm oil plantation, especially in Indonesia and Australia.
The Ghanaian delegates said land is readily available in the various districts and invited the investors to consider Ghana in the selection of investment destinations.
The MMDCEs also craved for sister city cooperation with Malaysian cities.
MCE for Agona West, Justina Marigold Assan, said her area has earmarked a large tract of land for agro-processing and sought collaboration from Malaysia.
The Kuala Lumpur Mayor, Mr Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, who was excited in receiving his Ghanaian counterparts, said there are a lot to learn from his municipality, especially in the area of revenue mobilisation and sanitation.
He said Kuala Lumpur is raking in over $1 billion in property rates, saying, “The more the buildings, the more the money to the city of Kuala Lumpur.”
Kuala Lumpur boasts of high-rise buildings for officers and residential facilities, with the tallest building standing at 106 floors; and most of the Asian giants tallest buildings can be found in that city, which was ranked 10th among cities to have most buildings above 100 metres and a combined height of 34,035 metres from its 244 high-rise buildings.
The Petronas Twin Towers remain the tallest twin towers in the world, with 88 floors each.
The towers house the country’s petroleum company.
They were the tallest buildings in Malaysia from 1998 to 2017 until the construction of The Exchange 106 building, with 108 floors and expected to be completed by the middle of 2018, began.
Mr Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz said commercial property owners pay 12 percent on their rents to the city administration as property rate.
He advised the Ghanaian officials to explore the possibility of using IT to collect revenue, which he said had boosted the city’s revenue drive with online payment software.
He said with the application of the online payment system, the assembly’s revenue collection shot up to about 90 percent.
The Kualar Lumpur Mayor asked the MMDCEs to provide adequate information to the country’s investors who are virtually in the dark about the opportunities in Ghana.
He said there are investors who have money but don’t know where to go, and advised the delegation to hold a conference with the business community.
He said the agro-industry is on the ascendancy, especially with the development of hybrid crops, citing the palm tree, which he said bears fruit in just about four years.
He said plantation farming is the life wire of the Malaysian economy, as it feeds the country’s industries.