Let’s invest for mutual benefit - Prime Minister Motley

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mia Amor Mottley (middle), Prime Minister, Barbados, addressing the forum.  With her is David Comissiong (right), Ambassador of Barbados to the Caribbean Community, and other officials
Mia Amor Mottley (middle), Prime Minister, Barbados, addressing the forum. With her is David Comissiong (right), Ambassador of Barbados to the Caribbean Community, and other officials

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, has pledged her country’s private sector’s commitment to partner Ghanaian counterparts to invest in various sectors for their mutual benefit.

She mentioned areas such as agriculture and tourism, where Barbados was self-sufficient as well as in music and sports.

Prime Minister Mottley said her country’s readiness to partner the country was based on the need to leverage opportunities with countries with similar vision and purpose, such as Ghana, to boost trade.

“I was very shocked to hear that Ghana still imports poultry from the European Union (EU). Barbados is self-sufficient in poultry and agriculture in general.

“We will be glad to collaborate with Ghana in various strategic sectors of the economy for mutual benefits,” Prime Minister Mottley added.

She was speaking at a business forum organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Accra on Monday, March 8, 2022.

Dubbed, Ghana, Barbados Business Roundtable, the forum created an opportunity for the Prime Minister of Barbados, to engage the Ghanaian private sector players who have interest to expand their operations to the Caribbean.

She said in sports, for instance, Barbados, which had a strong cricket team that competed in the West Indies, could partner Ghana to achieve feats the Caribbean country had attained.

Ghanaian businesses

Some representatives of businesses in Ghana called on investors from Barbados to partner them to establish multinational firms that could profit Africa and Caribbean consumers.

They maintained that building a strong private sector-led partnership would help position the two countries as the main centres to facilitate business transactions between Africa and the Caribbean.

The representatives of the businesses, which are into information and communications technology (ICT), health care, finance and agribusiness, said partnerships of such nature were a win-win for both countries because while Ghana hosted the secretariat of the Africa

Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with numerous opportunities, the headquarters of the Caribbean Trade Union was sited in Barbados, which presented several opportunities for investors.

Important collaboration

The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, said Ghana was one of the fastest growing economies in the world before COVID-19 broke out to derail that trajectory.

However, to support efforts by the government to return the country’s economy onto the path of recovery, he added that the private sector was on a clear mission of fostering collaborations to boost trade and grow the economy.

“What is significant about the relation between Ghana and Barbados is the historical ties, culture and tourism.

“The Barbadians have expertise in tourism, solar and service provision and so businesses in Ghana are very interested to collaborate with them,” Mr Akpeloo stated.

“The collaboration we are seeking is also important because Ghana is the host of the secretariat of AfCFTA and Barbados is home to the headquarters of the Caribbean Trade Union. This means that we can use Ghana and Barbados to help facilitate business transactions between Africa and the Caribbean,” he said.

GIPC is committed

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Mr Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, said the centre was the principal investment promotion agency in the country.

According to him, the centre was committed to enhancing and promoting Ghana as a business-friendly country for global and local partners to channel their investment.

In a pandemic era, Mr Afriyie said, the centre remained focused on its quest to attract more investment into the country.

“The need to engage sisterly countries to deepen commercial relationships is an essential priority for us. At GIPC our activities are linked to the government’s Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) ‘Obaatan Pa’ programme to attract foreign inflows of between $3 billion and $4 billion annually from 2022.

“As a result, we are developing a public, private partnership, strategic initiatives and a robust agenda to support private sector growth and improve Ghana’s competitiveness,” Mr Afriyie said.

The deputy CEO, therefore, called on Barbados to explore and partner Ghanaian businesses to promote investment in the country.