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General News of Friday, 1 September 2006

Source: GNA

Ghana to accelerate bio-fuel project-Veep

Bangkog, Sept.1, GNA - Ghana would tap the expertise of Thailand in the large scale production of bio-fuel for national consumption, Vice President Aliu Mahama said in Bagkok on Friday. He said although Ghana had set in progress the development of bio-diesel, the stride Thailand had made by way of research would illuminate the path of Ghanaian researchers.

Vice President Alhaji Mahama made this known during a visit to the palace of the King of Thailand, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej. His remarks followed the announcement by the Deputy Director of the Royal "Chitralada" Projects, Ms Rosarin Smitabhim that the Asian State would be switching to the use of bio-diesel and gasoline next year.

She said currently the official vehicles of the King were being powered solely by bio-fuel.

The Royal projects include a solar energy system that could serve a large area of Bangkok, the use of rice chaff for charcoal production, recycling of used household oil for soap and the manufacturing of candles from bee wax.
There are also experimental rice fields, fruits and vegetable processing factories, medicinal plant garden and conservation of plant genetic resources.
Vice President Alhaji Mahama described the projects as "excellent" with the potential of providing rural communities with income generating ventures.
He said the Government would send a delegation to understudy the projects to replicate them in Ghana. In a related development, Vice President Alhaji Mahama held a meeting with Mr Sompong Amornvivat, Thai Trade Representative in Bangkok, to fine-tune discussions on bilateral trade and commerce relations.
He lined up the priority areas of investments in Ghana, citing the hotel industry as one of the priority areas. Mr Amornvivat said Thailand had a booming tourism sector with a 15-year experience that received more than 12 million tourists every year.
He said the establishment of Ghana-Thailand Trade Commission in October 2005, would enhance business relations between the two countries.
Mr Amornvivat said such an agreement would also lead to technical cooperation, adding that he would pay an official visit to Ghana in September, 2005 to strengthen the bilateral talks.
Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, said Ghana was ready to offer would-be Thai investors Investment Protection Agreement packages and relief from double taxation.