The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has lauded Ghana’s participation in the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 which has brought governments, experts as well as global business leaders under one roof to discuss matters of global economic interests.
Addressing participants at the Business Forum in Dubai, the Trade Minister said such events are important as Ghana and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seek to advance cooperation in strategic investments needed to harness the country’s vast resources for industrial transformation and to boost trade and investment among the two countries.
According to him, the platform will not only enhance the partnership between Ghana and UAE, but will enable participants to share experiences, as well as exchange information on priority sectors, special initiatives, and opportunities readily available for investments by respective private sector operators.
In his address, he said “the United Arab Emirates has emerged as one of Ghana’s major trading partners with the value of trade averaging over $1.7 billion between 2011 to 2019. Trade continues to be strong even with disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic where total trade stood at over $2 billion with Ghana consistently recording Balance of Trade Surplus over the past 10 years.”
Mr. Kyerematen is optimistic that Ghana can be used as the strategic entry point for Emirati Businesses with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and effective implementation of other preferential trade agreements such as the Ghana-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, and Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement.
This will ensure that citizens will enjoy the mutual benefits that are likely to emerge from close economic cooperation.
Going on, the Trade Minister intimated that, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has further increased the opportunity for enhancing the productive capacity of the Ghanaian private sector through strategic partnerships with foreign counterparts.
He added that the disruption of global supply chains caused by the pandemic has reinforced the need for closer collaboration, so Ghana can boost its mutual self-sufficiency, strengthen the local economy, and reduce dependence on the production of critical goods by companies operating from outside Ghana.
“It is against this background that Ghana has since 2017 focused attention on laying a strong foundation for economic transformation by restoring macroeconomic stability, stimulating the private sector through business regulatory reforms, and restructuring the financial sector to ensure easy access to finance.
“We also embarked on an ambitious and transformative flagship programmes such as the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative, and Planting for Food and Jobs programme aimed at repositioning the country to become the Manufacturing Hub for Africa,” he said.
Currently, Ghana is empowering its private sector to focus on selected value chains including Industrial Starch, Textiles & Garments, Pharmaceuticals, Cashew, Horticultural Products, Fish & Fishery Products, Cocoa, Automobiles & Vehicles, Industrial Salt, and integrated aluminium and bauxite, among others.
In view of this, the Trade and Industry Minister is of the belief that, the ongoing Business Forum and Ghana’s participation in the Expo 2020 in Dubai, will boost the already strong bond of economic cooperation through strategic partnerships among private sectors.
He therefore, seized the opportunity to invite UAE investors to take advantage of the emerging opportunities offered by Ghana in the strategic areas in the Petrochemicals, Automobile, Garment and Textiles, Iron and Steel, Bauxite and Aluminium, and Pharmaceutical sectors.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry is looking forward to working with its counterpart in UAE through the establishment of a new strategic framework, Ghana-Emirati Business Council, which seeks to significantly boost cooperation in Trade, Finance, and Investments,” he concluded.