Ghana and Malta have expressed their commitment to deepen relations in the fields of tourism and culture, as well as trade and investment.
To this end, the two countries will establish special committees to work out the modalities for the attainment of the objectives.
This was the outcome of a meeting between the President of Malta, Dr George Vella, and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, when the latter paid a courtesy call on Dr Vella in his office in Valletta, Malta, last Monday.
Dr Awal was in Malta to attend the Mediterranean Tourism Investment Forum organised by the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation.
He was accompanied by Ghana's High Commissioner to Malta, Barbara Akoukor Benisa, and some members of staff of the High Commission and the ministry.
The team also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, as well as the Maltese Minister of Tourism, Clayton Bartolo, and the Minister of Justice, Culture and Local Government, Owen Bonnici.
Ghana, Malta relations
The Maltese President described the relationship between Malta and Ghana as very cordial and expressed the need for both countries to step up cooperation, particularly in the areas of tourism, culture, trade and investment.
Dr Vella disclosed that tourism accounted for over 40 per cent of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and said the two countries could share knowledge and experience on tourism development as a window for trade and investment.
He said Malta could be the gateway for Ghana to attract tourists and investment from the over 23 Mediterranean countries, including Turkey, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.
For his part, Dr Awal told the Maltese President that the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government was implementing a number of initiatives aimed at transforming the Ghanaian economy and improving on the lives of the people.
He said in the area of tourism, for instance, forts, castles and heritage sites were being renovated and modernised to attract more tourists to the country.
He said the government was ensuring that tourism and the creative arts contributed significantly to the country’s GDP and job creation.
He added that Ghana was ready to share experiences with Malta in the fields of cooperation.
The minister said since tourism was a global economic activity without borders, it was imperative that no country was left behind in efforts to achieve sustainable tourism that protected the environment and the people.
Dr Awal urged businesses and investors from Malta and the Mediterranean in general to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to deepen trade relations with Africa.