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General News of Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Source: GNA

Government will continue to facilitate activities of automobile industry - President

President Nana Akufo-Addo President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the government will continue to create an enabling environment to boost the profitability of the emerging automobile industry in the country.

He said the vision was to make Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa and “we are very much on course.”

The President was speaking at the inauguration of the Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing Company Limited Assembly Plant in Tema.

The US$7 million plant, the first by a Japanese firm in the country, started with the Toyota Hilux pickup model, to be followed by Suzuki Swift model in 2022, an arrangement which is the first of its kind in West Africa.

The plant has an annual production capacity of 1,300 units and employs approximately 50 employees.

It is the fifth vehicle production base of the Toyota Tsusho Group in Africa, after Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, and Rwanda, and is located in the Ghanaian city of Tema (30 km from the capital Accra).

He said it was a good day for mother Ghana, a day of deepening the already strong bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan.

The President said the government attached great importance to the development of the automotive industry in Ghana and the Toyota Tsusho presence in Ghana had been facilitated by the government's bold move to develop the Ghana automotive policy under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and industry with generous fiscal incentives.

“By Assembling and ultimately producing cars in Ghana new and highly skilled jobs are being created,” he said.

He said the need to reduce second-hand vehicles would be reduced and at the same time the export of made in Ghana cars to other African countries would earn the nation the much needed foreign exchange.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the investment had come at an opportune time in the nation's development as it served as a major boost to ongoing investments to hasten the nation's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

”The confidence in the Ghanaian economy expressed by a global organisation like Toyota will indeed provide additional impetus to the realisation of our post-COVID-19 recovery programme,” he added.

The President has, therefore, directed State Institutions to purchase locally assembled vehicles in Ghana, a means of the government's commitment to promoting the patronage of locally assembled vehicles in Ghana.

He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry was working with other State agencies to develop locally required raw materials in the value chain to feed these assembly plants.

He said the government had developed the automobile development policy to guide the industry and had also acquired a building complex in the South Industrial Area to be developed into rural Ghana Automotive Development Center.

The Complex would also house the Ghana Automotive Council to oversee the implementation of the auto development policy.

Mr Ichiro Kashitani, Toyota Tsusho Corporation President and CEO, speaking via a video message said "Our African business has a history of more than 90 years.

He said based on their philosophy of "with Africa for Africa", they sought to contribute to African society and the economy of Africa, while further reinforcing and expanding our business foundations.

"Starting today through this project, we will go on to deliver the production of happiness for all to the people of Ghana, as well," he said.

Mr Shinichiro Otsuka, Chief Operating Officer, Toyota Tsusho for Africa Division said: "To contribute to the social and economic development of Ghana, we will promote the production of high-quality cars that are made in Ghana.

He said in addition, they would provide high-quality sales and after-sales service.

"We will continuously support the safety, secure lives and businesses of the people of Ghana," he added.

He said, "it is planned as part of strengthening and expanding the alliance between Toyota Tsusho, which received the full transfer of sales and marketing operations in Africa from Toyota in January 2019, and Suzuki."

Mr Otsuka said going forward, in addition to engaging in the automobile sales business, Toyota Tsusho intended to tailor local production to market needs, further contributing to the development of the automobile industry in Africa.

The Management of Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing Ghana Company Limited has presented a Toyota Hilux pickup to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

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