The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has called on the Bank of Ghana(BoG) and the Ministry of Finance to join forces in establishing some loan scheme that will ensure the release of funds to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
His call follows an observation that Ghanaian businesses may be losing out on international opportunities meant to bring some foreign exchange into the country.
Speaking at the launch of the Business Resource Centres established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Enterprises Agency and partners yesterday, he said small businesses can be supported to take advantage of some export-oriented initiatives by the government and international institutions.
“Let me make this appeal to my own government and myself, as I can see my younger brother – the Deputy Minister of Finance here. Let the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance work together to put together a loan guarantee scheme that will release the liquidity in the banks to support the development of micro, small and medium enterprises,” he appealed.
According to him, the establishment of the Business Resource Centres would be a tool for the transformation of small businesses in the country.
“The history of the economic transformation of the leading countries in Europe, North America and Asia confirms that no country has experienced significant economic transformation and development without becoming a major industrialised economy,” he noted.
These countries, he said, had developed their economies by building strong MSMEs that had grown, in many cases, from family owned businesses into global multinational companies.
He said upon the assumption of office of the NPP government in 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry launched the implementation of a comprehensive industrial transformation programme aimed at making Ghana the new manufacturing hub for Africa.
“The establishment of the BRCs across the country, which is part of the transformation agenda, was based on two shared convictions. First, that for Ghana to achieve industrial transformation, programmes such as Rural Enterprise Programme (REP) had to be re-aligned to provide the institutional support infrastructure for Government to comprehensively support the 1D1F business promoters investing in manufacturing enterprises in the Districts under the 1D1F Programme,” he explained.
“Secondly, it is to expand access to a comprehensive range of business development services, professional consulting services, and critical regulatory support services to every district for the benefit of all other MSMEs,” he disclosed.
Mr Kyerematen also acknowledged the remarkable progress made over the past 18 months with the establishment of the BRCs, saying it demonstrates the immense potential the BRCs offer to the business community in Ghana.
The newly established BRCs, the Minister said, will be operated and managed under a franchise arrangement, with Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) as the franchisor and private sector operators as franchisees.
“In preparation for this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has supported REP and GEA to develop Franchise Models, Standard Operating Procedures and Systems for the management and operations of the BRCs. In addition, the GEA and its institutional partners are implementing the MSME Policy designed in 2020 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the right ecosystem exists to provide high quality support services to all MSMEs at the District level,” he noted.