The Swiss Ambassador-designate to Ghana, Mr Philipp Stalder has presented his open letters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey, to begin his role as the official representative and diplomatic liaison of Switzerland in the country.
He replaces Markus Nicklaus Paul Dugly whose service to his country ended last year.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Member of Parliament (MP) for Anyaa-Sowutuom, Ms Botchwey received the ambassador’s open letters on Monday.
Welcoming him at a brief ceremony in Accra, she underscored the need for the two countries to explore more innovative ways to broaden the scope of the trade portfolio to include other non-traditional exports from Ghana.
This, she said was because gold and cocoa alone constituted over 95 per cent of Ghana’s exports to Switzerland although Ghana was currently Switzerland’s largest trading partner in Sub-Sahara Africa with trade volume of approximately $2.0 billion.
She thanked the Swiss for the assistance provided Ghana over the years including $2.6 million Remittance Grant Facility (RGF) signed in 2017 to reduce the cost of remitting money to Ghana from 12 per cent of every $200 to five per cent.
“It is anticipated that high patronage of the formal process should with time raise the remittance figures and shore up Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves while cushioning the local currency, the Cedi,” Ms Botchwey stated.
The minister underscored the importance of the new strategic partnership between the two countries whereby an amount of 75.0 million Swiss Franc was to be made available to Ghana for sector-specific projects.
The new Country Strategic Programme, she said underpinned the “Ghana beyond Aid” and focused on strong and accountable institutions that deliver effective public services and improve competitiveness and diversification of the economy.
Ms Botchwey commended the immediate past ambassador for helping boost the relations between the two countries and pledged to support the new ambassador in the discharge of his duties, to strengthen Ghana-Switzerland relations.
BY TIMES REPORTER