The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has granted licences to 16 new companies with a combined investment value of $183 million to operate under the free zones programme.
They include Gold Coast Refinery, Juaben Oil Mills, Regency Salt Limited, Ramec Limited, Nurevas Food Ghana Limited and Karma Distillery Limited.
Others are Enviroplast Company Limited, Atlantic Life Services, Bassi International Limited and Melan Print and Packaging Limited.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GFZA, Micheal Okyere Baafi, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the licensing of the 16 companies was a novelty and underscored the government’s commitment to industrialise the economy.
The companies, he said, would be expected to venture into value added businesses and adhere to the law binding their operations under the programme to sell only 30 per cent of their manufactured products locally and export the remaining 70 per cent.
Okyere-Baafi said that was to boost the local manufacturing industry and increase the country’s gains from the export market.
“We have just added 16 companies to the programme and that is unprecedented. We hope to achieve a milestone within a year,” he said.
Baafi indicated that the 2018 strategy of the authority was to change the face of the GFZA by creating autonomous offices, enhancing the quality of service delivery and introducing speed with regard to licensing application processes, exemption of application processes, visa application and renewal processes, as well as vehicle registration processes.
He said the GFZA would set up a new unit to focus on the oil sector by providing the needed expertise to companies in that sector to operate efficiently.