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Business News of Friday, 24 September 2021

Source: thebftonline.com

Bilateral trade with India leaps to 26% in a decade

Trade value stands at US$4.5bn between Ghana and India Trade value stands at US$4.5bn between Ghana and India

Bilateral trade between Ghana and India has surged to 26 percent over the last decade from US$1.2 billion in 2011 to more than US$4.5 billion, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has said.

Though Ghana’s main exports to India include raw cocoa, nuts, timber products with gold accounting for nearly 80 percent of exports to that country, these products, however, see little to no value addition.

India on the other hand, has been focusing more on value-added exports to Ghana, with products that include pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, transport vehicles, electrical equipment, plastics, iron and steel, ethyl alcohol, beverages and spirits, cereals, and textiles.

According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Ghana’s imports from India were US$582.2 million during 2019.

Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers constituted the highest volume of imports, valued at US$$121.97 million, with imports of pharmaceutical products being ranked second with a total value of US$$80.66 million in 2019.

The Minister, rallying Indian investors and others to pursue investment opportunities in Ghana’s agricultural sector, said: “Ghana presents one of the best opportunities in Africa for fruitful and sustainable partnership in agriculture investment, adding, “we have an investment climate for agriculture that is hard to beat anywhere in Africa.”

Dr. Afriyie Akoto was speaking at the inaugural session of the India-Africa Agriculture and Food Processing Summit 2021, which was held recently and on the sub-theme, “Promoting sustainable partnerships.”

The event was to form synergies between the two countries as part of efforts to bolster productivity in the agriculture sector to strengthen food security systems.

Though bilateral relations between the two countries begun since independence, current relations between Ghana and India had since thrived, resulting in huge trade and development cooperation programmes in various sectors.

“The government was convinced that the private sector was key to the country’s transformation agenda for agriculture and therefore, strategic partners whose investment along the agriculture value chain is vital for success,” he said.

Nevertheless, the ravaging effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global agriculture sector has come as a wake-up call to build consensus and take action to ensure the sustainability of the entire food system, from production to consumption.

“Fostering partnership with India in the area of agriculture and food processing is very strategic for the growth and modernisation of our agriculture. No doubt, India is a giant in the field of agriculture and food processing and Ghana certainly has a lot to learn from you,” he said.

The summit presented an opportunity to share valuable experience to inform responses to the global call through the UN Food Systems Summit which was held Thursday, September 23, 2021, during the UN General Assembly in New York.