Ghana, US need strategic partnership — Alan Kyerematen
The Minister of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr Alan Kyerematen, has underscored the need for a strategic partnership between Ghana and the United States (US) to develop a post-COVID-19 economic transformation agenda to help accelerate the recovery of both economies.
He explained that with the pandemic having a devastating impact on almost all economies across the world, the ability of countries such as Ghana to recover would be to form a strong strategic partnership with another country.
The minister expressed concern that although Ghana had a long-standing relation with the US based on shared values, mutual respect and heritage, trade and investment between the two countries had not reached the levels that would reflect the long-standing friendship.
Opening the 2021 US-Ghana Business Virtual Forum yesterday, Mr Kyerematen observed that the turning point in US-Ghana trade and investment relations should be the start of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
On the theme, “Promoting US-Ghana Partnership through Trade and Investment,” the two-day virtual forum will host several sessions with speakers and panellists such as the Senior Vice President and Head of Ghana Business of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah; the Managing Partner of Kimathi & Partners, Mr Kimathi Kuenyehia, and the Country Manager of Uber, Ms Jessica Poku.
It is organised by the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM) and sponsored by firms such as Kosmos Energy, Kimathi & Partners, KFC and Coca-Cola Company Limited.
“The next strategic consideration, which I believe is important and I have described it as a turning point in USA-Ghana trade and investment relations, is the introduction and establishment of AfCFTA.
“In terms of the status of implementation, we have already been able to achieve about 86 per cent of rules of origin consolidation, meaning that the majority of the rules has been agreed between the state parties,” Mr Kyerematen said.
“We have 44 countries that are able to present their tariff offers for consideration in terms of the start of trading,” the minister said.
Mr Kyerematen said the achievement made had already provided a basket of goods and a number of countries that were ready to be able to commence trading.
The minister, therefore, urged the USA to use Ghana as an investment destination in order to penetrate the new African single market by partnering Ghanaian firms or setting up USA firms in Ghana.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie S. Sullivan, stated that US and Ghana had a long-standing, strong and dynamic relationship over the years.
She said the two countries worked together on a broad spectrum of issues, including public health, education, entrepreneurship, security and building business relationships.
“American businesses and entrepreneurs and their counterparts in Ghana deepen this relationship between the two countries and as a result the effort by the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM) is appreciated,” Mrs Sullivan said.
Mrs Sullivan said there were more than 100 American companies operating in Ghana such as Kosmos Energy and Zipline.
According to her, most American firms were currently finding success in Ghana by contributing to great prosperity in both countries.
She added that American innovators were poised to partner Ghanaian businesses across a wide range of industries to support their work.
A Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Africa, Mr Bennett Harman, stated that in both 2020 and the first six months of this year, Ghana was America’s third-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria.
He said the US government was seeing a gradual growth in trade with Ghana and would take steps to grow it further going forward.