Some Italian investors have expressed interest in doing business in the Shama District of the Western Region to boost government’s district industrialization policy.
To this end, a delegation from the Marche Region, a highly industrialized area in Italy, has visited the Shama Sistrict to explore business opportunities in the area.
The visit was to consolidate the sister-city relations between Shama District and the Italian Region of Marche that seek to promote businesses through innovation, technology and education.
The Italian delegation, which was accompanied by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Shama, Ato Panford, first visited the Shama District Assembly and interacted with the District Chief Executive (DCE), Joseph Amoah and some staff of the assembly, as well as officials of the Ghana Free Zones Board.
They also visited the Takoradi Technical University and the Western Regional Coordinating Council.
A legal adviser to the Italian investors, Mauro Guardati, indicated that Italian companies have been exploring foreign markets to expand their businesses and grow technology in viable ventures.
He said that the Shama District has the right environment for the establishment of industries.
He noted that Italy has expertise and knowledge in growing enterprises, particularly in the manufacturing industry and that the partnership would facilitate the sharing of technology.
He hinted that hopefully the initiative would commence by 2018, starting with the creation of a marketing platform for Shama and Ghana to woo more Italian investors.
“We will start working in 2018. We shall first create an institutional presence of Ghana in Marche Region and after that there is an idea of doing a road show around Italy to present to Italian investors the business opportunities in Ghana and Shama in particular,” he added.
The Member of Parliament for Shama, who doubles as the Chairman for the National Board of Small Scale Industries, Ato Panford, noted that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country have some potential.
He indicated that with the right support from the private sector, SMEs would enhance industrialization and the economy of the country.
“There is a huge opportunity for us to ride on the President’s One District, One Factory Initiative. If you have an economy where almost over 80 percent are SMEs, then I think we should rise up to do something to improve on SMEs”.
Hon Panford pointed out that Shama District has a competitive advantage and the right conditions to nurture and grow such enterprises in the Western region.
“Shama is ready for industrialization. We are close to the sea port, we have a free zones enclave, the gas pipeline, we generate thermal power which is over 40 percent of the total power requirement of the country and so we cannot sit and distribute the power without utilizing it,” he noted.
According to Hon Panford, access to capital has been one of the major challenges confronting SMEs.
“Adequate financial provisions have been made through the One District, One Factory initiative to support the project,” he added.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Shama