A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Ghana’s Forestry Commission and the China National Electronic Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) meant to lead Chinese companies to corporate with the Ghanaian government to construct a China- Ghana Forestry Economic and Trade Corporation park.
The move aims at building an internationally advanced industrial cluster and bringing out strong industrial agglomeration effect to promote trade upgrading, improve the industrial chain, expand timber transactions, boost Ghana’s competiveness in the timber industry as well as achieve a new tax growth point.
Addressing Journalists at the signing ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, acknowledged the cordial diplomatic relationship between Ghana and China.
Mr Afriyie explained that the “MoU is to establish the Ghana- China Forestry Economic and Trade Cooperation Park joint Bureau to achieve sustainable revenue through using forestry resources scientifically, to increase tax revenue of the FC and government of Ghana and to further realise the industrial upgrading of Ghana and construction of other livelihood facilities.”
According to him, the Bureau would be set up by the Forestry Commission and the CEIEC to ensure effective implementation of the Park and be responsible for the planning and design of the Park, introduce investment in the park, find cooperative partners, management and operations of the park.
The main component of the park, the CEO said include forest cultivation and logging, industry Wood Processing and manufacturing industry. Import and export trade industry and live service industry.
“The Park envisions achieving sustainable profit through using Forestry resources scientifically to develop various bankable business portfolios in the Park and to facilitate the protection of activities which do not endanger the water resources forestry and wildlife resources and other aspects of the environment.”
He told journalists that funding of the Park activities would be sourced from investment entities led by the Bureau and it is estimated to cost $ 3.5 billion.
He added, “on the whole, the objective of the project are well situated within the 2012 Forest and Wildlife Policy of Ghana. They also have the potential to inject further impetus into the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Country.
Mr Afriyie entreated all parties involved in the implementation of the Project “to give it the much- needed priority attention for the ultimate mutual benefit of our two countries.”
On his part, the Vice President of CEIEC, Mr Liu Zhirong touted the long standing friendly relationship between the CEIEC and the Forestry Commission, while expressing his outfit’s appreciation for the Commission’s efforts to make the deal a reality.
Mr Liu indicated that during the process of Cooperation, “we admired the specialty and dedication of the Forestry Commission deeply and we are also inspire by their social, responsibility, that making the best effort to protect both environment and resources, while contributing to national economic development by promoting reasonable and sustainable forestry development.
He said after a thorough investigation of Chinese model of forestry economy, both parties made a common decision to deepen their cooperation by building China – Ghana forestry economic and trade Cooperation Park.
According to him, the Park could introduce relevant Forestry investment, experience technologies to Ghana and guide professional companies to collaborate with Ghana government to build a comprehensive international forestry economic and trade cooperation park considering both actual situation of Ghana’s forestry resources and the demands of international timber and related fields.
He maintained that “China and Ghana have a long history of deep friendship, we are deeply convinced that the signing of MoU today will undoubtedly promote further communication in forestry development between the two countries which accelerate Ghana’s development in environmental protection, economy and people’s wellbeing. ”
By Mohammed Suleman