Speaking at a Press Launch to officially mark the entrance of the ATI into the country, Professor George Gyan Yaw Baffour, Member of Parliament for Wenchi Constituency and Minister for Planning who spoke on behalf of Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta noted that, Ghana as the Agency’s 15th member state stood to enormously gain from the agency.
The press launch was used to sensitize the media on what the ATI stood for and to solicit their support to drum home their benefits to the Ghanaian economy.
He said Ghana could use ATI’s insurance to attract commercial financing at the levels of more developed economies and that meant financing at better terms and longer duration, which could help pay off more expensive debts and create a more sustainable debt management process.
The IMF, he hinted, had looked favorably on that strategy in other countries and Ghana would look forward to exploring that possibility.
On some sectors of the economy that stood to benefit from the partnership, the Finance Minister mentioned the financial services sector. He stated that the ATI’s presence would help increase banks’ access to credit insurance and assist them in the structure and amounts they needed in order to lend to small and medium-size companies (SMEs).
“The manufacturing and trade sectors will also benefit by using ATI’s credit insurance to expand their sales beyond Ghana, enabling a targeted approach for exporters and suppliers” Mr. Ofori-Atta stated.
He touched on the benefit the energy sector would enjoy from the agency and further stated that through ATI’s Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF), backed by KfW, Ghana could help mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
The Minister hinted that the ATI operated on a different level and would not compete with the local insurance market instead, the agency would increase insurance capacity in markets in which it operated.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the African Trade Insurance Agency, Mr. John Lentaigne also enumerated a number of opportunities available for Ghana as a result of the partnership.
Chief among them included increasing lending and competitiveness in the commercial banks, revitalizing international and intra Africa Trade, diversification of energy mix and mitigation against climate change and support of the energy sector reform programme and attraction of lower cost of financing with longer durations.
Mr. Lentaigne noted that the ATI had successfully helped neighboring governments attract lower-cost financing at longer durations by providing a novel insurance scheme that effectively supported the government’s borrowing requests with insurance.
He called on the media to sensitize Ghanaians on how to use the services of the ATI to their full benefit.
A number of questions that ranged from what the Agency stood to gain from its association with the Ghanaian economy, whether they had plans to establish their office in Ghana, and how their entrance would affect local insurance agencies among other questions from the media were answered at the launch. END