The Ambassador of the Republic of Iran to Ghana, Dr Nosratollah Maleki, has announced that in 2018 Ghana exported about US$52 million worth of goods to Iran while it received goods valued at about US$7 million from Iran.
He stressed the need to increase trade between Iran and Ghana this year and beyond.
So far, he said, the economic relations between the two countries increased by 127 per cent in 2018 and it was a great achievement.
Delivering his address on the occasion of the celebration of Iran’s National Day and the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, he noted that a lot had taken place during his tenure as Ambassador over the past one year and a lot more still needed to be done, as far as Iran-Ghana trade was concerned.
He said significant progress had been made in the area of exporting goods apart from crude oil, adding that Iran was an oil-dependent country, but now the country exported different industrial, agricultural, technical and engineering services and products.
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The Ambassador pointed out that the Agricultural & Rural Development (ARD) unit was in the process of increasing its activities in some parts of the country in order to help farmers with modern farming technologies, especially in the field of rice cultivation.
In August 2018, he said the President of Shirin Asal Food Industry Group and Ghana’s Minister of Agriculture signed an agreement for the setting up of a 300,000 tonne cocoa processing company to produce chocolate for both local and international markets.
Dr Maleki announced that in January 2019 the embassy received a 13-member business delegation from Arak Chamber of Commerce to study trade and business opportunities in Ghana. Some of the Iranian farmers were settled on the ground and growing different agricultural products here in Ghana, he added.
He was happy to note that currently women played a great role in Iran, working as vice-presidents, ministers, Members of Parliament and mentioned, for instance, Ambassadors to Finland, Malaysia and Brunei, Diplomats and in other positions.
Excellent diplomatic relations
Iran and Ghana, he observed, enjoy excellent diplomatic relations, and said “I deem it necessary to mention and uphold the name and memory of the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The Ambassador announced that Iran and Ghana held their sixth Joint Commissions, where several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed.
Regarding Science and Technology, Iran is the first country in the region and it ranks sixth in knowledge production in the world, adding that the number of Iranian university students hit four million and there were more than 2,700 universities in Iran.
In the field of health, he said Iran was the most modern country in kidney transplant, ranking second in bone marrow transplant and was among the top five countries when it came to stem cells.
“We have made great advances in industry and mining, production of ocean ships and vessels, nanotechnology and nuclear and space industry,” he noted.
The Iranian government has in the past two years offered more than 60 scholarships in various fields to Ghanaian students to study in Iranian universities.
As an important player in the Middle East and in the Non-Aligned Movement, he stressed that Iran had always been in good and peaceful relations with its neighbours and all other countries at bilateral, regional and international levels, in spite of continuous crisis made by those sponsoring terrorist groups and activities.
Iran, he noted, had always been fighting against terrorism both at internal and external levels.
He said Iran was one of the biggest victims of terrorism and it had been carrying out a great war against terrorism in the region, particularly the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, upon the official request of the legitimate governments of the two countries.
Touching on the revolution, he said the Islamic Revolution of 1979 had made Iran to gain valuable achievements in political, social, scientific and economic fields, under the leadership of the Late Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Despite all the ups and downs, an eight-year imposed war and the unfair sanctions imposed against his country, he said the Islamic Republic of Iran made efforts and achieved significant advances in different fields.
The anniversary was attended by ministers of state and their deputies, members of parliament, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, chiefs and eminent imams and members of the Iranian community.
Ambassador Maleki offered prayers for the success and wellbeing of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana.