The President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso noted China’s growing influence in Africa’s economy and said it is currently Ghana’s largest investor, contributing hugely to Foreign Direct Investments in the country.
Quoting data from the International Trade Centre, he said in 2018, Ghana’s exports to China amounted to US$2.4 billion while imports stood at US$4.8 billion.
Speaking at the launch in Accra of E-Tang Group Ghana Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese printing giants, Shanghai KS, he said: “This demonstrates the commitment that both countries attach to trade and investment for mutual benefits.”
He added that though the figures look impressive, the critical question needing to be asked of the FDIs is the sort of impact they have on business growth and development, as well as the quality of life of the people.
He said developments in the road sector, at least, point to a good impact, stressing also that the Ghana-China relationship is essential to the stability of trade flows and that the two countries represent a good example of what can be achieved “when we walk side-by-side”.
While advising the Ghanaian workers to work hard and grow the business into an international status, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso also advised management to treat the Ghanaian workers fairly, saying “pay them well just as you would do for your Chinese brothers back home.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of E-Tang Group Ghana, Mr Eric Worchie said rather than any long talk, the company would prefer to wow the industry with Shangai KS’ years of experience, high-quality printing, competitive pricing and customer satisfaction to prove its mettle.
He said the company intends to be a market leader within a short time to enable it enter neighbouring countries by the middle of 2020.
Mr Eric Worchie added that with the group’s state-of-the-art equipment coupled with efficient and hardworking staff, not only will they be taking manuscripts for printing, they will discuss content with owners and if need be, suggest improvements to bring the work to international standards.
Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen in an address read on his behalf, welcomed the E-Tang Group Ghana and said it very much fits into government’s industrial policy, which is towards developing industries that are export-oriented with high-value addition, high technology, high local content and having strong linkages with the domestic economy.
“This is to enable the private sector to invest, create wealth, and generate employment and thereby facilitate the realisation of the Golden Age of Business which H.E. the President promised investors”, he said, pledging the commitment and cooperation of the ministry with the private sector to move the economy forward.
He added that, “The launching of E-Tang Group Ghana is timely and is taking place at the critical stages of our new educational reforms which have created avenues for the printing and supply of new educational books at high quality and at competitive prices.”
The Chairman of E-Tang Group Ghana and Shanghai, Mr Jeff He, said the company was the first to be empowered with fully localised operations, adding that all the employees will be Ghanaians.
Describing Ghana as a land of beautiful and warm people, with a stable political climate and among the fastest growing economies in Africa, he said Ghana is the first country where the E-Tang group has opened a branch in Africa, which also serves as its first subsidiary on the continent.
Mr Jeff He said the growth of the company will be phased, with the first stage being the production of high-quality printing services to local publishing companies that only produce books.
“With regard to the second stage, we will build a local factory to expand investment in Ghana. This will enable us employ more Ghanaians and we shall contribute our quota to the development of Ghana”, he said.
In the final phase, he said, having accumulated a lot of local experience, the company would expand more by establishing a department called China Investment & Consultancy Department to assist more Chinese firms to invest in Ghana, explaining that a lot more potential Chinese businesses are yet to enter the Ghanaian space owing to cultural differences.
Mr. Jeff He said the China Investment & Consultancy Department will provide a comprehensive one-stop service for incoming Chinese companies, equipping them with policies and regulations, operational management and focused personnel recruitment and training, and the establishment of specific enterprises.