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Government policies will stimulate patronage of vehicles assembled in Ghana – Akufo-Addo assures industry

To stimulate demand for vehicles assembled in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo, said an asset based vehicle financing scheme will be roll-out

President Akufo-Addo has assured players in the domestic vehicle assembling industry in Ghana that his administration will pursue policies that will stimulate patronage of their vehicles by both government and the citizenry.

Addressing attendees of the commissioning ceremony of the Rana Motors KIA assembly plant at Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region today, 2 May 2023, President Akufo-Addo said he acknowledges that government alone cannot purchase all the vehicles being assembled in Ghana so there is the need to develop policies that will afford the ordinary citizen to buy locally assembled vehicles.

Potential of automotive industry

President Akufo-Addo, in his remarks, also indicated that he acknowledges “that the critical component for harnessing the full potential of the automotive industry is demand for assembled vehicles.”

“As you may all be aware, I have directed the Chief of Staff at the office of the President, the prioritization of the procurement of domestically assembled vehicles by state institutions to fulfill government’s commitment in patronizing made in Ghana products.

“We are, however, mindful of the fact that the state alone can not purchase the sufficient numbers of vehicles to be produced from our assembly plants and will thus require Ghanaians also patronizing these vehicles”, President Akufo-Addo said.

Vehicle financing scheme

To stimulate demand for domestically assembled vehicles President Akufo-Addo, noted that his administration “will soon be rolling out an asset based vehicle financing scheme as it exists in other developed economies to afford Ghanaians the opportunity to purchase vehicles from the Ghana automotive development programme”.

“We have also shown commitment by implementing the zero rating of VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles. This means that there is no VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles even to the end user to make domestically assembled vehicles affordable, ” President Akufo-Addo said.

Outstanding provision

On the implementation of outstanding provision within the Customs Amendment Act (2020), President Akufo-Addo said he has “charged the Minister for Finance upon the resumption of Parliament to submit the required legislative instruction proposing the implementation start date with these outstanding provisions of the Acts”.

“The implementation of these outstanding provisions will trigger the full implementation of the Ghana automotive development policy and drive further investment into the industry,” President Akufo-Addo pointed out.

“We will continue to do our part to position Ghana as a strategic partner in helping the continent achieve the target of assembling 1.5 million vehicles per annum by the end of 2023 as projected by the Association of African Automobile Manufacturers and to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) whose Secretariat is located in our capital of Accra to exploit the bigger African market for domestically assembled vehicles” the President added.

The ACMP

President Akufo-Addo also hinted in his speech that the Minister of Trade and Industry will soon be submitting to Cabinet for approval the Ghana automotive component manufacturing policy (ACMP), which will outline incentives to attract investors into the component manufacturing sector.

The policy, according to President Akufo-Addo, will also support “artisans in Suame, Kokompe, and other enclaves to upgrade their capacity to fit seriously in the automotive industry.”

“It is government’s hope that the incentives granted Rana Motors will translate into competitive pricing of vehicles for the Ghanaian consumer. We look forward to the transitioning of this assembly plant into a fully integrated vehicle production plant in Ghana, ” President Akufo-Addo said.

“The project is yet another sign of the strong relations that exist between the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Korea, which we appreciate very much and are determined to advance and deepen,” he added.

Nine brands in Ghana

Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Michael Okyere Baafi, in his remarks, said that the coming on board of the KIA assembly plant brings the number to three such assembling plants established in the country to produce global vehicle brands in Ghana.

He also noted that currently in Ghana, nine different brands of vehicles are being produced in Ghana and they are VW, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Changan, ZX Auto and KIA.

“All this happened not by accident or chance. We are profoundly grateful for His Excellency the President’s steadfast commitment and support for the implementation of programmes under the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, approved by Cabinet in October 2019 to create a fully integrated automobile manufacturing hub in Ghana, barely two years after his assumption of office as the President of the Republic of Ghana” Michael Okyere Baafi said.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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