The United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister of State for Africa, Ms Harriet Baldwin, has affirmed the UK government’s commitment to increase investments in Ghana and ensure greater economic harmonisation between the two countries.
Recounting the economic gains and significant strides aimed at formalising and improving the Ghanaian economy in the last few years, Ms Baldwin, together with some government officials and business leaders of the UK, pledged to bring new investments and increase existing ones in Ghana.
Ms Baldwin was speaking at the second UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) meeting held at the Lancaster House in London yesterday.
The first meeting of the UKGBC was held in Ghana last October. The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is attending the meeting.
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The overarching goal of the UKGBC is to match as closely as possible Ghana’s needs with UK expertise, financing and private sector support.
A statement, released from the Vice-President’s office, said yesterday’s meeting explored new strategies and opportunities to enhance trade and investment between both countries in several areas, including agro-processing, extractives, garments/textiles and pharmaceuticals, financial sector, financial technology (Fintech) and cyber security.
Also, among others, UKGBC is tasked to explore technical assistance on standards and customs facilitation and work to identify and break down constraints to greater trade and investment.
The government of the UK intends to bring substantial investments to help complete existing projects and undertake new ones.
For his part, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia lauded the UK government’s interest in increasing economic cooperation with Ghana and pledged the support of Ghana to UK entrepreneurs.
“We are very happy with the UK government’s positive assessment of the progress so far made in Ghana in the last few years and her resolve to increase investments in Ghana, and we are prepared to partner you,” Vice-President Bawumia stated.
He added that “For us, as we prepare to position Ghana as the financial services hub in West Africa and increasing our strategic alliance with the UK is indispensable since London is the largest financial services centre globally.”
Dr Bawumia said Ghana would “continue to be prudent in the management of our economy, ensure inclusive economic development and provide the right environment for businesses, both local and foreign, to thrive.”
Officials at the meetings included the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister of Planning, Prof. George Gyan Baffour, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr Yofi Grant, and Ghana’s High Commissioner in London, Papa Owusu Ankomah.
On the UK side, the officials included the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, Mr Adam Afriyie, Director for Economic Development & Europe, DFID, Ms Rachel Turner, and the UK High Commissioner in Accra, Mr Ian Walker.