The Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has appealed to China not to be a mere trading partner but to also support Ghana’s efforts to become a manufacturing hub in West Africa.
He said while Ghana appreciated and looked forward to growth in the trade relations between the two countries, it was critical for China to prioritise manufacturing in Ghana as well.
Opening the third China Trade Week in Accra yesterday, Dr Awal said his appeal was premised on the government’s industrialisation drive as one of the major pillars to Ghana’s accelerated, all-inclusive and sustainable development.
The three-day event was organised by MIE Events, a global event organiser, as a business to business trade show featuring over 100 Chinese manufacturers looking to develop direct trading partnerships and links with local businesses.
It was also a platform for the local business community to explore business opportunities in China to enhance trade cooperation between the two countries.
It is a platform for both Ghanaian and Chinese businesses and brands to increase their visibility, find vendor partners and distributors in each other’s country.
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Dr Awal said Ghana had decided that it could not continue to export its raw materials because that practise was not economically viable.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Shi Ting Wang, expressed gratitude to the government of Ghana and its stakeholders for supporting and helping to make the China Trade Week successful.
He said China would continue to enhance its relationship with Ghana for the mutual benefit of both countries.
“China-Ghana economic and trade cooperation has witnessed a robust growth.
Last year, bilateral trade between China and Ghana registered $7.25 billion, making Ghana the seventh largest trading partner of China in Africa,” he said.
Mr Shi said it was also worth noting that Ghana’s export to China was $2.44 billion in 2018, and said there had been significant double figure rise in Ghana’s export percentage to China since 2010.
“I am delighted to see that Ghana’s trade deficit with China is on the decrease.
With the effort of Ghana to develop its manufacturing sector and China’s resolve to expand import from Ghana, trade between our two countries will grow and become more balanced and sustainable,” he said.
The Vice President of MIE Events in charge of strategy and partnership, Mr Zahoor Ahmed, said the 2019 edition stood in the light of growing trade relations between China and Ghana.
He said the MIE shared in the government of Ghana’s commitment to its One District-One Factory policy (1D1F) to spur industrialisation, and expressed the hope that China would partner with the Ghana government to see many deals concluded before the close of the three-day event.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, assured China of the chamber’s cooperation to enhance economic and bilateral relations between both countries.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, said the Authority was taking advantage of all opportunities to make Ghana the preferred destination for international events to enhance local tourism.
That, he said, would also help to enhance foreign investments in the country.
Dr Awal addressing the opening day’s session of the China Trade Week