Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry, has renewed government's commitment to provide tax incentives to manufacturing companies that make use of local raw materials.
He said government would also strengthen the security network to fight the menace of smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy to protect local manufacturing companies.
Mr Iddrisu gave the assurance when he launched the new Distell Ghana bottling plant in Tema.
Distell Ghana Limited are the distillers of Hunters' Gold and Savannah Dry Cider, Knights and Royal Reserve Whiskys, Amarula, Wines, Brandys and gin across the continent and beyond.
The establishment of the plant in Ghana means that those beverages would no longer be imported from South Africa, but would be produced in Ghana to serve the West African market.
Mr Iddrisu said investment is expensive and government would therefore do everything possible to protect investors in the country to reap the benefits of their investment, and called on all to report any malpractices in the areas of smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy to the appropriate authorities for redress.
He appealed to the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority to step up surveillance to stem practices that have the tendency to thwart efforts of local industries.
The Trade Minister said government is reviewing the warehouse laws for Customs to work 24 hours to facilitate the movement and clearance of goods and services at the country's ports and harbours.
Mr Iddrisu said government would also bring together stakeholders to brainstorm on how to cushion the local industries, in their bid to expand production and create jobs.
Mr Richard Rushton, Distell Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said Ghana is the company’s first Greenfield investment, although it had over the years exported products to many parts of Africa.
He explained that the GH₵16 million investment signified confidence in Ghana.
He commended government for turning Ghana into an attractive business destination and a major location in the heart of West Africa and pledged to sustain government- business relations to yield dividends for all parties.
The CEO said while producing alcoholic beverages, the company is cautious against harmful effects of alcohol and would therefore partner government to fight counterfeiting and piracy that could supply wrong products to the detriment of consumers.
He said the plant in Ghana would not only serve consumers in the country, but products would also be supplied to neighbouring Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire among others.
Mr Nabil Moukarzel, Executive Chairman of FINATRADE Group of Companies, said the partnership between his outfit and Distell Ghana Limited would create more jobs and bring the goods and services to the door-steps of Ghanaian consumers.
He appealed to government to create a tariff offset programme for progressive businesses that support and source from local producers and a penalty system for non- compliant importers.
Mr Moukarzel called for the strengthening of security at the entry and exit points of the country to stem alarming practices of goods and services smuggling into the country to the detriment of genuine business.
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