Business News of Friday, 15 March 2013
Source: Graphic Business
Italy has pledged to release €20 million for Ghana to support small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) under the Ghana Private Sector Development Facility (GPSDF).
The two countries have subsequently committed themselves to working hard to remove all outstanding bottlenecks in order to facilitate the rapid disbursement of the funds.
This was revealed when the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Laura Carpini, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, in Accra during which the two governments pledged to deepen the economic ties between the two countries.
Mr Iddrisu said the government had prioritised private sector development as key to economic development, and was, therefore, prepared to “work hard to ensure continued disbursement of funds to support SMEs in Ghana.”
The trade minister, however, called for more relaxed and favourable terms to “ensure that start-up SMEs benefit from the fund.”
For her part, Ms Carpini, said her government was willing to continue to support the growth of the Ghanaian economy, adding that the GPSDF projects were a priority one for the Italian government and that it stood to benefit the two countries. The Ghana Private Sector Development Facility is an SME support programme which seeks to provide soft loans to Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
In 2011, the Italian government, through its development partners, granted €20 million to the government to support private sector development. The first phase of the project saw the disbursement of €11 million to SMEs between 2004 and 2008.