Ghana government is to establish free zone enclaves in all regions in the country as part of plans to industrialise the nation’s economy.
In addtion, a major infrastructural facelift project will soon begin at the free zones enclave in Tema.
It will include the re-building of broken-down walls, construction of police posts and new roads to enhance the operations of businesses within the enclave.
The deputy minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah disclosed this at an interactive forum with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of licensed free zone enterprises in the eastern, Greater Accra and Volta regions in the city of Accra, recently.
|Cross section of participants at the interactive forum
Organised by the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), the forum was dubbed: “Revolving challenges for business growth”.
Mr Ahenkorah said as part of the one-region, one-free zone project, arrangement had already been made with the chiefs in the regions for a litigation-free land to be made available for the implementation of the programme.
The Minister indicated that government was committed to creating an environment where Free Zone enterprises could thrive, adding that challenges that derailed the efforts of businesses would be addressed.
“That is why we are beginning the facelift initiatives at the Tema enclave where there will be good roads and formidable security posts to ensure that operations of Free Zone enterprises are not halted, he stated.
Mr Ahenkorah noted that more interventions would be rolled out to ensure that free zone enterprises received the needed support to expand their operations.
The Executive Secretary of Ghana Free Zone Authority (GFZA), Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, commended Free Zone enterprises for their various roles in the country’s industrialization agenda.
However, he raised issues with the way some of the enterprises submitted their mandatory quarterly documentation, saying a number of them used false information to deceive the board.
Mr Baafi said a fine of $ 55,000 would be slapped on any free zone enterprise that “attempts to use false information to deceive the Board”.
The Executive Secretary of African Free Zones Association, Chris Ndibe, who was at the event commended the effort of GFZA in organizing the stakeholders meeting as this will reveal the problem areas in the operation of free zones in the country. “To get the best of a meeting of this nature, it should be made more than once”, he said