Trade Minister commissions detergent manufacturing plant in Tema

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has joined major stakeholders to commission a state-of-the-art detergent manufacturing plant owned by the African Consumer Products Limited.

The plant, located at Tema in the Greater Accra Region, is to directly create jobs for the teeming unemployment youths in the country.

Delivering the keynote address at the ceremony which was held on Thursday, July 1, 2021, Mr. Kyerematen commended Senior Executives of Wilmar Africa Group and Kapa Oil Refineries Limited for gracing the occasion.

The Sector Minister congratulated the management and staff of Wilmar Company for their dedication and hard work, and for putting up “this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, particularly during this very challenging Covid-19 period”.

“Today, we are taking another giant step in the Industrial Transformation Agenda of our country, which seeks to make Ghana the new Manufacturing Hub in Africa.

“In pursuit of this, the government recognizes the importance of attracting private sector operators to invest in the productive sectors of the Ghanaian economy by taking full advantage of the available local resource endowments, as well as the attractive incentives being offered by government to support the private sector,” Mr. Kyerematen noted.

According to him, the establishment of the factory underscores the importance of such strategic partnership between the private sector and government in pursuit of its common goal of creating jobs and bringing prosperity to the people in the country.

This new detergent manufacturing plant, Mr. Kyerematen explained is going to provide direct employment for about 220 people which will improve their livelihoods and that of their dependents.

In addition to the above, he stated that the establishment of the company will boost the government’s strategic effort aimed at import substitution, especially in sectors where there is local capacity for value addition.

In the year 2020 alone, he indicated that Ghana imported soaps and detergent products worth over $40 million which could easily have been produced in Ghana.

With an installed capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of soap per annum compared to a national demand estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes, this new factory will help bridge the gap between demand and supply of soaps and detergents.

He lamented that the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the global supply chain for goods but has also adversely affected livelihoods.

The wake of the pandemic, he said has also increased the consciousness regarding personal hygiene and care, leading to a significant surge in the demand for soap and household cleaning products, thus, enhancing the market growth of detergents.

“With the detergents market projected to register a cumulative annual growth of over 4%, I believe this company will flourish not only in Ghana but Africa as a whole, by taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) policy.

“As the host country of the AfCFTA Secretariat and one of the first African Union Member States to have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement, government has taken concrete steps to establish a National AfCFTA Office, and also developed a comprehensive National Action Plan to help Ghanaian manufacturers to take full advantage of the opportunities under the AfCFTA,” Mr. Kyerematen noted.

In addition to the enormous benefits that AfCFTA presents to the Ghanaian private sector, he said the businesses located in Ghana have ‘Duty-Free Quota Free’ access to the United States, European Union, and the United Kingdom markets.

“Indeed, today marks the commencement of the operationalization of the Ghana-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Let me assure the business community that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has put in place measures to ensure that Ghana continues to benefit from these various trade liberalization frameworks,” the Sector Minister said.

According to him, the the market access opportunities offered under the Trade Agreements that Ghana has signed, is a strong stimulus for attracting Foreign Direct Investments into Ghana.

Under the new National Export Development Strategy being implemented under the direction of Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ghana Export Promotion Authority, he asserted that Ghana seeks to achieve an export value of US$25 Billion by the year 2029 in non-traditional exports.

He was confident that the Wilmar Group with their excellent range of products will be a major contributor to the achievement of this target.

According to him, Ghana is on the path towards a major industrialization take-off and there could be no better time than now for “us to commission this new industrial facility”.