Global automobile manufacturing giant Volkswagen has announced plans to set up an automotive assembly plant in Ghana.
A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed in Accra on Thursday 30th August 2018, with the plant expected to be set up by 2019.
Mr. Thomas Schäfer, Managing Director of Volkswagen of South Africa, and Hon Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, signed respectively at a ceremony witnessed by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Dr Angela Merkel.
The Volkswagen Group, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automobiles and commercial vehicles and the largest carmaker in Europe.
Officials of the company, who accompanied Chancellor Angela Merkel on a day’s visit to Ghana, said the leadership of the VW Group were motivated to set up a plant in Ghana due to the business-friendly policies being implemented by the Nana Akufo-Addo government.
Ghana, they maintained, is on the right path for sustained development.
Two further MoUs have also been signed between Ghanaian companies and their German counterparts. While Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH and ASPIRx are collaborating to supply technologies for the construction of a vaccine factory in Ghana Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & co. KG and Tabcon Limited inked a deal to supply technologies for the construction of a hybrid solar/hydro power plant in Ghana.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia indicated that a key ingredient in the quest to achieve a Ghana beyond Aid, as envisioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is the creation of a business-friendly climate, and strenuous efforts are being made ensure its creation and sustenance.
This commitment is based on the Akufo-Addo government’s appreciation of the role played by the private sector, hence the implementation of policies and programmes designed to make Ghana the most business-friendly destination in Africa.
“We have been in office for 18 months, and we have begun the implementation of policies and programmes designed to make it easier for the private sector, both indigenous and foreign, to invest and grow in Ghana.
“Achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid means doing things to make it easier for the private sector to take its rightful place in the national development agenda, and this includes ensuring macro-economic stability, peace, and an atmosphere conducive for doing business.”
The Vice President of the Republic had earlier expressed government’s commitment to private sector development when he, together with members of Ghana’s Economic Management team, held discussions with a 22 member high-level business delegation accompanying Chancellor Merkel to Ghana.
Members of the delegation included chief executives of multinational companies, bankers, industrialists, health care professionals, and industrial-scale farmers.
Vice President Bawumia explained that the implementation of a national Digital Property Addressing System, a national ID Card, digitisation of Driver and Vehicles Licences, Interoperability in Mobile Payment Systems, operation of a paperless port as well as the upcoming digitisation of land records were all strands of a well-thought out plan to reform the Ghanaian economy.
A number of reforms, including efforts to make government payments paperless, as well as the drafting of a new Companies’ Code and an Insolvency Bill were also under consideration, the Vice President hinted.
“These reforms are designed to make it easier for businesses, particularly the private sector, to grow, and also facilitate the development of new businesses, such as a mortgage market and e-commerce. Ultimately, these policies will have a major positive impact on the lives of ordinary Ghanaians,” Vice President Bawumia indicated.
Ghanaian businesses, Dr Bawumia stated, are open to partnerships with their foreign counterparts in a win-win situation, and called on members of the delegation to liaise with officials of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council and other government officials to take advantage of initiatives such as ‘One District One Factory’ and ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ to set up shop in the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has since left Accra.