A group of Italian investors from Le Marche, an eastern Italian region, have expressed interest in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the Shama District of the Western Region to create businesses and manpower through innovation, technology and education.
The investors led by a delegation from the highly industrialized area in Italy and the Member of Parliament for Shama Ato Panford paid a working visit to the district assembly on Tuesday to access business prospects in the district.
The visit was to consolidate a sister-city partnership between Shama District and Le Marche.
Hon. Ato Panford, who doubles as the Chairman for the National Board of Small Scale Industries says the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises constitute a chunk of businesses in the country and the world at large.
Mr Panford argued that SMEs present some potential that with the right participation from the private sector could drive industrialization and the economy of the country.
“There is a huge opportunity for us to ride on the President’s 1 District 1 Factory Initiative. If you have an economy where almost over 80% of it is based on SMEs as the spine of the economy, then I think we should rise up to do something differently”
The initiative is expected to identify and tap into business prospects in all over the country.
However, Mr Panford justified that Shama district has a competitive advantage and the right conditions to nurture and grow such enterprises in the Western region.
He referenced the Aboadze thermal plant as being a major power source, the free zones enclave and abundance of raw materials as vital ingredients for the establishment and sustenance of industrialized businesses.
“I am anchoring on Shama because of its dynamic position. We are close to the seaport, we have a free zones enclave, the gas pipeline, … all coming through Shama and you ask yourself we generating thermal power over 40% of the requirement and you want to sit and distribute the power without utilizing it? I can’t sit, I get angry when things are not being done”.
He added that adequate financial provisions have been made through the 1 District 1 Factory Initiative to support the project.
“Access to capital has been one of the key things. But then with the 1D1F initiative, you will find that there’s access to capital component in it”
Legal Adviser for the Italian investors Mauro Guardati was convinced the Shama District has the right catalyst for the establishment of industries.
He explained Italian companies have been exploring foreign markets so they could expand their businesses and grow technology in viable ventures.
Mr Guardati stated that Italy has excellent experience and knowledge in growing enterprises particularly in the manufacturing industry. He opined the partnership will bridge the political gaps between parties to facilitate the sharing of innovation and technology.
“If we create the political momentum, the bridge and the way for Italian entrepreneurs to get to know Ghana and the opportunities of Ghana of the region, and of ECOWAS, we can actually match business to business and excellent solutions for everybody”
He hinted the initiative would set sail by 2018, starting with the creation of a marketing platform for Shama and Ghana to entice investors.
“We should start working in 2018. We shall first create an institutional presence of Ghana in my region [Marche Region], and after that there’s an idea of doing a roadshow around Italy presenting Shama, Ghana and ECOWAS to show to entrepreneurs the opportunities that are here [Ghana]”
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