Story: News Desk
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Kia automobile assembly plant in Ghana, urging the vehicle manufacturer to work towards making their products affordable to the local consumer.
Set up by Rana Motors Limited, a local licensed dealer for the South Korean automobile company, the plant, situated at Amasaman near Accra, will assemble various Kia brands for Ghana and the West African markets.
At a ceremony on Tuesday, May 2, President Akufo-Addo said the opening of the plant was a major boost for Ghana’s industrial transformation agenda.
He said the development would enable his government to achieve its vision to make the country a fully integrated and competitive industrialised hub of the automotive industry in West Africa.
The President said the establishment of the plant had been made possible by the conscious initiative of his administration to attract investment in the automotive sector under the Ghana Automotive Development Policy initiated by the Government.
He added that the government will pursue policies that would stimulate patronage of locally assembled vehicles.
Kia is the fourth largest global vehicle manufacturer. The company joins other global car brands including Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Sinotruck, and Ghana’s indigenous brand Kantanka, who have already established assembly plants in the country.
Noting that the critical component for harnessing the full potential of the automotive industry was a demand for assembled vehicles, the President said the government was developing policies that would enable ordinary citizens to acquire locally assembled vehicles.
“As you may all be aware, I have directed the Chief of Staff at the office of the President, the prioritisation of the procurement of domestically assembled vehicles by state institutions to fulfill the government’s commitment to patronising made-in-Ghana products.
“We are, however, mindful of the fact that the state alone cannot purchase the sufficient numbers of vehicles to be produced from our assembly plants and will thus require Ghanaians also patronise these vehicles”, he said.
Consequently, the government, the President disclosed, would soon roll out an asset-based vehicle financing scheme, as pertained in other developed climes, to stimulate the demand for domestically assembled vehicles.
“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,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that he had charged the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to submit to Parliament the required legislative instruction proposing the implementation start date of the Customs Amendment Act (2020).
He said the implementation of those outstanding provisions would trigger the full implementation of the Ghana automotive development policy and drive further investment into the industry.
The President also disclosed that the Trade and Industry Minister would soon submit to Cabinet for approval the Ghana Automotive Component Manufacturing Policy (ACMP), outlining incentives to attract investors into the component manufacturing sector.
The policy, he stated, would also support ‘artisans at Suame in Kumasi, Kokompe in Accra, and other enclaves to upgrade their capacity to fit in the automotive industry.”
President Akufo-Addo expressed hope that the incentives granted to Rana Motors would 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,” he said.