67% Export potential between Ghana, Burkina Faso untapped

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Pingrenoma Zagre (middle), Burkina Faso Ambassador to Ghana, with Clement Osei-Amoako (2nd from left), President, GNCCI, and other members of the Burkina Faso Mission at the launch of the Economic and Trade Promotion Days.

OUT of the US$8.4 billion annual export potential between Ghana and its neighbour Burkina Faso, only 33 per cent, representing US$2.8 billion, is realised.

The rest of the business, representing 67 per cent (US$5.6 billion), is yet to be leveraged by exporters in the two countries, data from the International Trade Centre (ITC) has revealed.

To bridge the trade gap, the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce and Industry are to hold a trade promotion forum as part of efforts to ensure that the two countries fully explore their potential.

Dubbed the “Economic and Trade Promotion Days”, the forum is scheduled from September 27 to October 2 this year.

It will be held on the theme: “Strengthening economic and trade partnership between Burkina Faso and Ghana: which synergies of actions in the current context of the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Export figures

The report said the annual export potential between the two countries was projected from top 51 leading products.

The report also showed that Ghana’s exports to Burkina Faso increased from US$264 million in 2020 to US$276 million in 2021, and its imports from Burkina Faso amounted to US$50 million in 2021.

Powerful instrument

At the launch of the Economic and Trade Promotion Days between Ghana and Burkina Faso in Accra on July 14, the President of GNCCI, Clement Osei-Amoako, said the programme was very important, particularly at the time countries and chambers of commerce and industries were preparing to trade under the AfCFTA.

He said across the globe, trade was recognised as a powerful instrument for strengthening economic and bilateral relationships.

“It is against this backdrop that the chamber finds the theme for the Economic and Trade Promotion Days timely.

“The GNCCI recognises the steady and fruitful diplomatic relationship between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

“Following this cooperation, several projects have been proposed and undertaken, including but not limited to a power interconnection project and railway connectivity linking the two countries to enhance cross-border trade and bilateral integration,” he said.

Investment opportunities

Mr Osei-Amoako said there were many investment opportunities in Ghana, including but not limited to infrastructure and real estate development, road construction, health care and pharmaceuticals, agro-processed goods, plastics, textiles, cosmetics, manufacture of metals, mineral oil, general trade, information and communication technology.

He said as the representative organ of the private sector in the country, the chamber was of the strong conviction that the business forum would serve as a unique platform for businessmen and women of the respective countries to interact, share ideas and establish business relationships.

“It is our fervent hope that this business forum will further strengthen the strategic trade partnership between Ghana and Burkina Faso, bringing economic and social benefits by creating new opportunities for trade, investment and employment,” he said.

Mutual benefit

The Burkina Faso Ambassador to Ghana, Pingrenoma Zagre, pledged his country’s private sector’s commitment to partner Ghanaian counterparts to invest in various sectors for their mutual benefit.

He mentioned areas such as agriculture and trade, where Burkina Faso was self-sufficient.

He said his country’s readiness to partner Ghana was based on the need to leverage opportunities with countries with similar vision and purpose, such as Ghana, to boost trade.