US Ghana Business Summit and Expo: Ghanaian businesses to strike new deals
Players in Ghana’s private and public sectors have another opportunity to showcase their fullest potential as they engage United States companies and strike new deals at the 2nd US Ghana Business Summit and Expo in Philadelphia.
The President of the US-Ghana Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia, Florence Torson-Hart, told the Graphic Business ahead of the opening of the summit and expo today that the event is an unbridled platform for attendees to chat a new path and build lasting synergies that will have a positive impact on bilateral trade between the two countries while enhancing their businesses.
Business summit, expo
An initiative of the US-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia, the event which opens from today September 12 to September 17, is meant to among other things help to deepen discussion and relationship with critical institutions that facilitate international business development and cooperation.
Modelled around the concepts such as the World Affairs Council, African Caribbean Business Council and World Trade Centre of Delaware, the annual event comes at a time when Ghanaian businesses and trade institutions are seeking credible collaborations and partnerships to scale up in the wake of the challenging economic environment in the country.
Ms Torson-Hart said the chamber was leaving no stone unturned as it has put in place what she described as a “very robust agenda.”
“For example we will be traveling to two states and holding deep business and stakeholder discussions with the numerous Chambers of Commerce and business institutions.
We also have the opportunity to visit the manufacturing plants of High Companies who are leaders in manufacturing, construction and real estate. This company built the replacement bridge for the Tappan Zee Bridge (the Largest Transportation Design-Build Project in the US) in New York City.”
Ms Torson-Hart said delegates will also visit Case New Holland Industrial that makes world class equipment and technology for agriculture and construction.
“ShopRite has also partnered to offer a pop up shop for Ghanaian products and retail opportunities thereafter. The individual companies in Ghana have chosen to take advantage of this partnership.” She added.
Ghana-US bilateral trade
Last year, Ghana, US bilateral trade in goods totaled $3.7 billion – an all-time high with bilateral trade in services also growing as well.
The U.S. is Ghana’s largest bilateral development partner. In 2022, US bilateral assistance totaled over $150 million with programmes in health, economic growth, agriculture, education, human rights, governance and security.
Last year, the U.S. Government provided over $32 million in agricultural assistance in Ghana.
More recently, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation announced new support for $25 million in financing for micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the agricultural sector in Northern Ghana.
The United States recently announced a $300 million investment in data centres in Africa, including Ghana, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States has also authorised $1.6 billion for infrastructure investments in Africa.
Presently, there are more than 100 U.S. companies and brands active in the Ghanaian marketplace in most major segments of the economy.
They are invested in key sectors, including energy, mining, agro-processing, ICT, healthcare, food packaging, and consumer goods, among others.
To make Ghana a welcoming environment for this investment, there are indications that US companies like other investors are looking for contract sanctity, independent courts, freedom from corruption, regulatory predictability, payment of government arrears and consultation on new localisation and other requirements.
With this, it is expected that the public sector leaders attending the business summit and expo will use their engagements to reassure American businesses that Ghana is ready for a new phase in spite of the major economic challenges that have bedeviled its economy.
Last year Ghana had a trade surplus with the United States to the tune of $1.8 billion dollars.
Ghana’s growing digital economy has the potential to increase exports of business and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services among others.
The other big opportunity to grow services trade is tourism. Americans are now Ghana’s largest group of international visitors. Ghana has the potential to attract even more visitors with strategic investments in tourism infrastructure.
For now, what Ghana can do to increase trade and investment is to support a favourable and predictable business environment.
This is fundamental to attracting new U.S. investment in Ghana and improving economic prosperity in the long-term.
The world of potential investors is small, and they talk to one another.
It is largely believed that when U.S. companies thrive, they spread the word – leading to new companies entering the market in what can be described as a virtuous cycle.