Special E-Session on Doing Business with Ghana with H.E. High Commissioner of Ghana in India

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H.E. Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh High Commissioner of Ghana
H.E. Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh High Commissioner of Ghana
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Special E-Session on Doing Business with Ghana with H.E. Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh High Commissioner of Ghana in India on March 07, 2022 at Kolkata

WELCOME ADDRESS By: Rishabh C. Kothari President, MCCI

His Excellency Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Mr. Ernest Nana Adjei, Mr. Eric Amoako Missah, Mr. D. P. Tantia Distinguished Guests, Members « Media Friends

I have great pleasure in extending a warm and hearty welcome to His Excellency, Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, High Commissioner of Ghana in India today this morning. We are grateful to His Excellency for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to be here with us to share his views and vision on enhancing bilateral economic relations between India and Ghana. I am sure, today’s Session will be enriching for all of us, and will be able to lay down a possible roadmap for bilateral cooperation between the two countries. I also welcome most cordially Mr. Ernest Nana Adjei, Minister-Counsellor, Political & Economic, Ghana, Mr. Eric Amoako Missah, First Secretary, Consular & Welfare officer, Ghana and Mr. D. P. Tantia, Hony. Consul of Ghana in Kolkata to the Interactive Session.

Sir, history has witnessed the friendly and warns ties that have been built up between the two nations since times immemorial. The strong foundation of our bilateral relations was laid by India’s first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. They have only grown stronger with the passage of time. The year 2022 may be considered as a remarkable year for the two friendly nations which marks the 65th anniversary of Ghana-India diplomatic relations, established in 1957. The unique relationship not only exists in regard to bilateral relation but also the culture and business climate is also closely related.

There is enormous goodwill for India in Ghana. India is among the top five trading partners of Ghana and the largest destination for its exports, with bilateral trade close to a billion in 2020. During COVID period, bilateral trade between two countries suffered and stood at US$ 1.5 billion mark as the pandemic caused a massive and instant reduction of global economic activity. India’s major exports to Ghana include pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, transport vehicles, electrical equipment, plastics, aluminum sheets, minerals, iron & steel, cereals, textiles, automobile equipments, etc. Ghana’s exports to India consist of gold, cocoa and timber. It is well known that Ghanaian cocoa rules the world. It is a big industry with nearly half of the population dependent on it. Sir, India, being a traditional exporter of coffee, we are interested to know if Indian investors have any opportunities of setting up cocoa-processing units in your country, in Joint-Ventures.

In order to give a major boost to bilateral trade, a MoU for Cooperation between the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) was signed in July 2021 which has been an important step on the path towards human resource development and capacity building for further strengthening the technical capabilities of the GAEC. In order to encourage vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the African Collective Self-Reliance, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement was signed in June 18, 2021 with a lot of active commitment from Indian companies to enter Africa and take advantage of the AfCFTA. As part of the AfCFTA agreement, countries have committed to removing tariffs on 90 percent of goods with the remaining 10 percent of items to be phased out at a later stage. We are interested to know Sir, your views on what can be the other effective ways to enhance bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

India is the second-largest investor in Ghana, in terms of the number of projects and value of the investment. The exchange of business delegations in recent years has led to an increase in investments by Indian companies in Ghana in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, trading, and services and in areas such as steel, pharmaceuticals, IT, ago-processing, textile, and chemicals. Ghana imports automobiles and buses from India and companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have a significant presence in the country. The Government of India has extended USD 228 million in lines of credit to Ghana which has been used for projects in sectors like agro-processing, fish processing, waste management, rural electrification, and the expansion of Ghana’s railways. India has also offered to set up an India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT) and a Food Processing Business Incubation Centre in Ghana. Bank of Baroda, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Tech Mahindra are amongst the major Indian companies in Ghana. Sir, Indian MSMEs can take advantage of opportunities in Ghana’s rural development, agriculture technologies, agriculture cultivation, irrigation, agro_processing, sanitation, and renewable energy projects. Sir, we are interested to know your views on this.

Ghana is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, oil, and gas. Ghana Teak has been a recognized brand of timber in India. Bio-fuels industry is another sector where some Indian companies have already made investments in Ghana. It is reportedly known that Abellon Clean Energy Ltd., an Indian renewable energy company, plans to create 25,000 jobs in Ghana and build a factory to produce solid biofuels. Ahmedabad-based Abellon will grow crops that require little irrigation, such as bamboo, palmarosa, and sweet sorghum on 10,000 hectares of derelict land. Growing bio-fuels like jatropha is seen as a way to curb fossil fuel emissions, limit climate change and boost farmer incomes. Sir, we are interested to know how you are viewing this development and what are the policy options of your government.

While Ghana and India ties are rooted in mutual goodwill, a strong, well-entrenched defence partnership between the two has eluded over the years. India’s defence exports to African countries have traditionally been limited to Eastern African countries and Indian Ocean Island littorals such as Mauritius and Seychelles. However, a renewed thrust is now being placed on energising defence and security cooperation. India is increasingly looking to diversify its export-import partners, energy sources, and security partners, and is slowly shifting its focus to Western Africa. In this respect, Ghana has the potential to be India’s foremost partner in the region. Sir we are eager to know your views in this regard.
Sir, according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2020, Ghana is the best place for doing business in West Africa. Ghana is considered as the ‘Gateway to West Africa’ because of its strategic location and investor-friendly climate and can serve as a gateway to the 1.2 billion-strong African population having a combined GDP of USD 3.4 trillion. The country also has one of the most stable Governments in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies. As we deepen our already strong partnership with the business community in both the countries, we are keen to know possibilities of cooperation between West Bengal and Ghana. With strategic location and adequate skilled labour force West Bengal offers great opportunities and incentives for trade and investment in the developed sectors like leather, textile & hosiery, gems & jewellery, food processing, IT, etc. We are eager to know how you are viewing the prospects of trade and investment opportunities in these emerging sectors of Bengal and whether you have any specific plans and programmes to venture in them. To enhance India-Ghana Bilateral trade and investment opportunities, we are suggesting to open a Ghana Trade Centre in West Bengal. Sir, we would like to know your views on this. With these few observations, I now request Mr. D. P. Tantia to address us.

About Post Author

Suman Munshi

Founder Editor of IBG NEWS (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018). Recipient of Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award 2018. National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks 2011 jury and public poll winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT,LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP(USA & UK),BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in the digital & IT industry with Global MNCs' worked & traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh & many other countries. Education and Training advance management and R&D Technology from India, USA, UK, Australia. Over 30 Certification from Global leaders in R&D and Education. Computer Science Teacher, IT & LIMS expert with a wide fan following in his community. General Secretary West Bengal State Committee of All Indian Reporter’s Association
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