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Ghana to prioritise trade cooperation with other countries

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
• Elizabeth Barbaro Sant, the Chairperson for TradeMalta, speaking at the forum

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere-Baafi, has stressed the need for the country to deliberately prioritise cooperation in the area of trade and investment between it and other countries.


This, he said, would attract more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country and increase the number of businesses to create employment and contribute to domestic revenue generation through the payment of taxes.

Mr Okyere-Baafi made the call at the 3rd Malta-Ghana Business Forum in Accra.

Forum

The forum was organised by the Government of Malta in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GNCCI), Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Ghana.

It provided the platform for representatives from both countries to enhance relations and promote business partnerships.

Mr Okyere-Baafi said despite the impressive strides made over the past decades, it was still evident that Ghana-Malta trade and investment were still below their respective potential.

He explained that both countries have enjoyed longstanding, cordial and strong bonds of friendship and cooperation based on shared values and priorities.

“Indeed, Malta is currently one of Ghana’s strategic bilateral partners.

Ghana is also increasingly becoming home to several Maltese businesses in West Africa,” he added.

He said tremendous opportunities existed for trade and investment in various sectors of the country and urged prospective investors to consider strategic cooperation for effective optimisation of opportunities available under the Government’s flagships programmes, such as the One-District-One Factory, development of strategic anchor industries, SME development through the promotion of Joint ventures between Ghana and Malta and the development of industrial parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

Business registration

The Deputy Chief Executive of GIPC, Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, urged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to register their businesses with the centre to enable them to benefit from similar incentives as their foreign counterparts.

According to him, the present economic challenges in the country should not be a barrier for them to do so.

“We are currently embarking on IMF programme and we are expecting the staff approval hopefully in the next few weeks.

When that staff approval comes we believe that the confidence among our investor community will have enormous cascading impact for investments in Ghana,” he said.

Accelerating business opportunities

For her part the Chairperson for TradeMalta, Elizabeth Barbaro Sant, said Malta was working hand-in-hand with the Ghanaian government to stimulate investment, accelerate business opportunities, facilitate cross-border trade and align efforts with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said there were countless opportunities for a partnership that would drive socio-economic growth for both countries.

Ms Sant noted that 25 major Maltese companies were expected in Ghana this week to explore business opportunities.

The companies, she said, would dig deep into the incentives and infrastructure available to support their investment.

They will also engage with officials in their respective sectors and get introduced to the potential local partners in the country.

“With our shared goals and complementary strengths, we are confident that our nations can form a powerful partnership that will drive socio-economic growth for both of us.

Together, we can fuel Ghana’s economic transformation and open new doors for Maltese businesses to invest in Ghana’s thriving ecosystem,” she said.