The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mahama Ayariga, told a German Trade Mission in Accra on Wednesday that German businesses should not hesitate to forge mutually beneficial trade and business alliances with their Ghanaian counterparts to take advantage of opportunities in the Ghanaian economy.
He was speaking at the first ever Ghanaian-German Business Summit, a one-day investment symposium in Accra to give policy makers and the private sector from both countries the platform to interact at close range.
The 45-member high-powered mission from Germany is led by the Vice Minister of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Dr Bernd Pfaffenbach. Members of Afrika-Verein, the biggest association of German companies active in Africa, make up the majority of members of the mission, the first of its kind to the country.
Apart from exploring investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, tourism, health, water and sanitation, the government and private sector German delegation will also grace the opening of a German Delegate Office for Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Ghana.
The opening of the AHK office has, therefore, hoisted Ghana high in the European and world market and ushered the country into the comity of German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in 82 countries world-wide.
The deputy trade minister said the thrust of the policy agenda of the Ministry of Trade and Industry was based on integration, promotion, development and the growth of a vibrant, productive and competitive private sector which was being implemented through a trade, industrial and a private sector development policy strategies.
“The National Medium-Term Private Sector Development Strategy Phase I is aimed at creating a fully supportive environment and level playing field for the private sector to grow and compete effectively,” Mr Ayariga said.
He called on the German Trade mission, numbering about 40 mainly from the leading association of industrial and business entitles active in Africa, otherwise known as “Afrika-Verein” to immediately take advantage of opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness, which remained the mainstay in the Ghanaian economy.
“The agricultural sector is the obvious choice for the maximisation of the benefits of accelerated growth,” the Deputy Minister said, adding that the emphasis on agriculture was borne out of its large contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana, its pro-poor nature and its ability to ensure food security in Ghana and other countries.
Other areas that should interest the potential investors, he added, included the provision of infrastructure such as highways, ports, energy infrastructure, water and sanitation; the development of an integrated iron and steel production; light industry and assembling plants; residential and commercial property development as well as the provision of robust transport services and tourism facilities.
Mr Ayariga commended the steady rise of the volume of investments between Ghana and Germany, which reached 316.7 million euros at the end of 2009, an increase of 8.8 per cent. In addition, Ghanaian exports to Germany, mostly non-traditional exports (NTEs), went up by 9.1 per cent to 108.1 million euros in 2009, with German exports to Ghana increasing by eight per cent to hit 208.6 million euros during the same period.
The trend in volume surge is expected to continue “given that Ghana has positioned herself to increase NTE earnings from $1.2 billion in 2009 to $5 billion by the year 2015,” the deputy minister stated.
He expressed the hope that the opening of a Delegate Office of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Ghana, the fourth in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the first ever German Trade Mission to Ghana would further promote trade and economic relations between companies and organisations from both countries.
The President of the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA), Mr Stephen Antwi, expressed the hope that the Delegate Office, which was being hosted by the GGEA, would afford Ghanaian businessmen and women the opportunity to partner and interact on a more regular basis with their counterparts in Germany and other parts of Europe.
Source: Daily Graphic