President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated phase two of the Sinotruk Assembly Plant project and cut the sod for phase three of the company’s investment in Ghana for the manufacture of vehicle parts and lubricants.
The $30-million investment located at Golf City in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality of the Greater Accra Region will increase the current annual production capacity by the company from 850 trucks to more than 3,000 heavy-duty and light-duty trucks, including tipper trucks, wheel loaders, backhoes, trailers, semi-trailers, oil tankers, as well as a variety of light-duty vehicles assembled from semi-knocked down (SKDs) kits that adhere to international standards of quality and safety.
The assembly plant comes under the One-district, One-factory (1D1F) Programme initiated by the government.
The facility will double employment in the company from 356 to 700, with more than 1,000 indirect employment opportunities further projected to be created.
President Akufo-Addo commended the Managing Director of Sinotruk, Yang Yang, and her partners for the commitment to build a major hub in Ghana for the assembly of heavy-duty trucks for the sub-region.
“Sinotruk and partners have demonstrated how major players in the import and distribution chain have taken advantage of strategic interventions such as the 1D1F initiative to transition from importation and distribution of trucks to establishing assembly plants for both the local and export markets,” he said.
The President said the unique feature of Sinotruk’s operation was the state-of-the-art training centre established alongside the plant to train artisans in the application of appropriate technology and skills to build their capacities in assembly processes, repair and maintenance.
He indicated that the government was not oblivious of the challenges confronting the manufacturing sector, adding that he was convinced that the progress being made in restoring macroeconomic stability and the determination to return to a path of growth would benefit the private sector in manufacturing and commerce, with a positive impact on easing the cost of doing business.
President Akufo-Addo described the Sinotruk phase three project as the most optimal transformation project which would ensure that Sinotruk Ghana Limited would be a fully integrated automobile maker in Ghana, with the capacity to supply its assembly lines with locally manufactured parts.
“This is a great leap forward that enables the company to export at scale into the regional market under the Rules of Origin arrangements of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” he said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, disclosed that the number of 1D1F companies in operation had increased to 169 in 2023 from 126 in 2022, stressing that the increase in industries inspired the ministry to continue to support the private sector to invest in strategic sectors.
He said the Sinotruk facility, which was a fully self-financed 1D1F project, had received a support of GH¢29 million in import duty waivers for plant and machinery and auto assembly kits from the government.
While acknowledging the important roles heavy-duty trucks play in the economies of West Africa, especially in haulage in areas such as sanitation, construction, agriculture and trade logistics, Mr Hammond said the story of Sinotruk Ghana, in particular, was also a story of the high entrepreneurial spirit and fortitude embodied in its managing director, whose business interests expanded and rapidly transformed from importing spare parts for sale to operating an auto garage service before establishing seven branches in six regions of the country.
Ms Yang said the choice to shift from trade to industrialisation was a pivotal step in building a self-sustaining ecosystem for the society.
She said her outfit, beyond serving the domestic market, was actively exploring opportunities to increase its export of high quality vehicles to countries in the West African sub-region, thus solidifying its presence in the broader West African automotive landscape.
Ms Yang said she recognised the efforts being made in Ghana to promote industrialisation, particularly through the 1D1F initiative, saying it was helping local industries to thrive and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
o further empower the company’s efforts to become more competitive in the Ghanaian market, Ms Yang appealed to the President to grant zero VAT on the locally assembled heavy-duty trucks, stressing that the move would be a transformative step.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), Michael Ansah, said the expansion of the production line provided opportunities for agencies such as the Ghana Bauxite Company to work with a world-class company that would provide equipment and logistics solutions to assist in ramping up production, making it more attractive to investors as it expanded from a production base of 1.5 million metric tons to five million metric tons even as government was working towards the establishment of a refinery in Ghana.
SOURCE: graphic online