Minister calls for establishment of Ghana- Canada Business Council
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, has called for the establishment of a Ghana-Canada Business Council, to promote trade between the two countries.
The council, he explained, would propel the deepening of engagement for business and private sector development.
The minister made the suggestion in Accra when the High Commissioner of Canada, Ms Kati Csaba, paid a courtesy call on him.
Mr Kyerematen said any such council would be expected to serve as a strategic platform to address challenges in commercial relations challenges and maximise trade and investments between Ghana and Canada.
When established, the council, he noted would support on-going efforts to identify business opportunities and other trade and investments related activities for the private sectors of both countries for the enhancement of bilateral economic, trade and investment co-operation.
Mr Kyerematen said the two countries, have for years, enjoyed close bilateral relations in trade, investments, development and humanitarian assistance.
He indicated that Ghana was ready to serve as the entry point for Canadian investments in the West African sub-region, to take advantage of Regional Market Opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which had an estimated market size of more than 1.2 billion.
Ghana, Mr Kyerematen noted, intends to make Canada one of the major markets for value added goods produced in Ghana, under the Industrial Transformation Programme being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Under the programme, he said, Ghanaian and Canadian investment partnerships could benefit from Canada’s experience in vehicle assembly and manufacturing of machinery and component parts, fertilisers and industrial chemicals.
Ms Csaba commended the Minister for his active role in the roll out of the AfCFTA to improve intra-trade within Africa.
Welcoming the proposal for a council, she said it was time the two countries worked to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
Ms Csaba said Canada was looking at how it would benefit from the linkages and increase its trade on the African continent and touted the good cooperation between Ghana and Canada.
“We are conscious of Ghana’s initiative to move beyond aid and move towards more mature relations with other countries,” she said.
Ms Csaba reiterated the importance of an investment protection agreement between the two countries to boost the confidence of investors.
She said Canada had re-directed its development activities around sustainable economic growth as being part of the way of moving beyond aid relationships.
In line with this, Ms Csaba said 70 per cent of Canada’s development portfolio was focused on inclusive development growth in the agricultural value chain, development of micro small and medium enterprises and gender equality and women empowerment.
Already, four major projects valued at $40 million, which focuses on women development, have been launched.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS