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Business News of Saturday, 29 April 2017

Source: GNA

Ghana is the best place to invest - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has assured the business community of higher returns on their investments in Ghana than anywhere in the West Africa sub-region.

The Ministry has therefore urged prospective investors, especially from Latvia, to consider Ghana as the gateway to a wider West African markets of over 300 million people.

The political and micro-economic stability were all available for the benefit of anyone seeking to do business in Ghana, Mr Edwin Adjei, Acting Chief Director of the Foreign Ministry noted.

Speaking at a Ghana- Latvia business forum hosted by the Foreign Ministry in Accra on Friday, Mr Adjei, on behalf of the Sector Minister, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, expressed government’s determination to turn the fortunes of the country around with much focus on trade, investment and industrialisation.

The forum followed a political summit held between Ghana and Latvian delegation made of investors and led by Mr Andrejs Pildegovics, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia and some Ghanaian business people.

Ghana and Latvia, a country with a population of two million people is one of the fastest growing economies, established diplomatic relations in January 1992, which had served as a boost for economic cooperation and establishments of contacts.

“As you may be aware, over the past decade, Ghana has witnessed impressive economic growth with annual growth rate averaging over 6.4 per cent…Estimates from the Ghana Statistical Service from April 2013 show that in real terms, the Ghanaian economy expanded by 7.9 per cent in 2012, which compares well with an average global growth of 3.2 per cent and an average sub-Saharan growth of 4.8 per cent, Mr Adjei told Latvians.

He said Ghana in recent times had also made gains in her bilateral trade, increasing by over 70 per cent the last five years, and that the European Union of which Latvia was a part, continued to be the most important trade partner for the country, accounting for around 30 per cent of the nation’s total external trade since 2012.

Mr Adjei said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Ghana had also increased significantly in the past few years, with the country featuring among the top five recipients of FDI into Africa in 2012.

“In view of these developments, Latvia has the opportunity to share in Ghana’s economic growth success story, while we also look forward to tapping into the rich experience of Latvia, especially, with much focus on development cooperation based on our shared values and aspiration” he noted.

Mr Pildegovics, on his part said the forum afforded the opportunity for Latvia to build stronger bilateral relations with Ghana.

He said Latvia which marks 100th years anniversary in 2018, was the 17th most friendly country to do business and that many business opportunities existed in that country with more business people looking for new opportunities in Ghana to explore for partnerships.

He said areas of forestry which gives Latvia 2.2 billion euros of revenue annually could be explored by Ghanaian businesses while railways, ICT and technologies, transportation, agriculture and food processing, wood processing, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, among others could be further explored.

He announced that a Ghanaian, David Adjaye had won a bid to construct a national museum in Latvia by 2021.

Mr Pildegivics therefore invited Ghana to also send a delegation to Latvia to have a further interaction leading to much trade and investment opportunities.

Mr Edward Ashong-Lartey, Director of Investor Services at GIPC who briefed the delegates on the business opportunities in Ghana, said areas including, affordable housing, agriculture, and tourism were available to be explored by investors.

He also called on the Latvians to partner Ghanaians to establish a world-standard tourism training institution that could train Ghanaians to work to meet international standard and also boost the tourism sector.