JETRO starts operation in Ghana

November 8, 2021 By 0 Comments

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he is delighted that the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is now in Ghana. He said this when he officially opened the company’s office in Ghana, at a ceremony held in Accra last week Friday

JETRO is in Ghana following President Akufo-Addo’s visit to Japan nearly three years ago, where he engaged them, as one of the companies he met, during his official visit to the country. Toyota Tsusho is one of the companies the President engaged with, for which an assembly plant has been established in Ghana.

The JETRO office focuses on three pillars of activities namely trade and investment promotion, exhibitions and business delegation/missions in both countries; research and policy proposal advocacy.

An important development

Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo stated that the establishment of the JETRO Ghana Office, which has been duly staffed and resourced, is an important development towards deepening Ghana’s economic co-operation with Japan.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “It provides a permanent administrative mechanism for strengthening bilateral dialogue and cooperation on trade, investment and private sector development programmes between Japan and Ghana.”

The President reiterated that the JETRO Ghana Office should help facilitate business linkages by directly addressing the language barrier between Ghanaian and Japanese companies.

The President indicated that, “As an agency of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, External Trade and Investment (METI), JETRO is better placed to support more diligently the full cycle of mission goals and follow-up actions required to close deals brokered from overseas trade missions, exhibitions and executive visits.”

Assist Industralisation

President Akufo-Addo was convinced that working closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, JETRO will fully align its development co-operation to assist the Ministry of Trade and Industry to implement Ghana’s comprehensive Industrial Transformation Programme.

He emphasised that industrialisation is a matter of utmost priority and urgency for his government, especially in addressing the challenge of job creation for the youthful population.

The industralisation, he added is a priority in exploiting fully the opportunities available for Made-in-Ghana products in export markets.

More Substantial Investment

The President told the gathering that Ghana is looking forward to more substantial investments by Japanese companies into her manufacturing sector for Ghana.

The President explained that these investments would push Ghana to realise its full potential as a regional manufacturing hub for Africa.

He indicated that Ghana has laid out a host of well-structured sector-specific incentives for manufacturing for domestic consumption and for exports to foreign markets.

Additionally, he said that the government, working closely with Parliament, is willing and capable of designing the right legislative and regulatory measures necessary to attract catalytic investments into key strategic sectors of the economy.

Citing an example, President Akufo-Addo mentioned the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Policy, which he said is highly regarded by peers in the auto industry as one of the best in Africa. He continued that progress made by Volkswagen and Toyota Tsusho in setting up new Assembly Plants here in Ghana, testifies the government’s resolve to industrialize the economy.

Imminently, Nissan and Suzuki are planning toalso set up assembly plants in Ghana early next year.

He said the government’s firm determination to industrialize rapidly the Ghanaian economy is to propel growth, and address the problem of unemployment amongst our youth,” President Akufo-Addo added.

More co-ordinated approach

With JETRO fully in place, he indicated that the time has come for a more co-ordinated approach by Ghana and Japan to undertake joint initiatives.

These initiatives, the President explained, will complement the work the Ghanaian government is already doing to empower the private sector to take advantage of long-standing and beneficial bilateral cooperation, “as well as of key Trade Agreements such as the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, the European Union-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement, and the various Japanese Co-operation Agreements under the TICAD initiative.”

Ghana-Japan Relations

Ghana and Japan have had strong, longstanding bilateral relations since 1957, resulting in co-operation in the fields of agriculture, education, energy, finance, food, governance health, infrastructure, manufacturing, and peace and security.

President Akufo-Addo said JETRO has played a significant role in the successful implementation of several of these trade and investments programmes, which have provided support in boosting the productivity and sustainability of many small and medium scale enterprises in Ghana.