Ghana, Hungary To Boost Trade

Mr Kojo Oteng (middle),CEO, Hanghat together with Dr Laszlo Szabo(left),Secretary for  Foreign Affairs ,Hangary and MrGyorgy Kerekes(right),CEO cutting rubbon to officially open their officeGHANA and Hungary have established an office in Accra, to facilitate and promote bilateral trade relations to the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Hunghat Limited is a Ghanaian company in partnership with the Hungarian National Trading House to provide a platform to small and medium scale enterprises for the mutual support of import and export capabilities, products and services.

The Ghana office of the company is the first of its kind to be established in Africa and the 13th in the world.

At a ceremony to unveil the office in Accra on Tuesday, Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Youth and Sports said it was important that the two countries strengthened their partnership beyond diplomatic relations to economic relations.

He said the setting up of Hunghat in Ghana marked a watershed for the two nations to kick-start a viable business partnership on a win-win basis.

Mr. Ayariga said that Ghana was taking off as a lower middle income economy, and was, therefore, very ripe for investments in the agricultural, infrastructural, manufacturing and sporting sectors.

He said the country wants to move from exporting raw commodities to adding value to its products, and as such required the technical know-how and managerial competence to bring that about.

The minister noted that Ghana has an enabling environment as far as investments and a good rate of returns were concerned, citing its peaceful and stable democracy and highly skilled human resource.

He said Ghana was particularly keen on expanding investment in the energy sector to generate reliable electricity to power industries, and also building sports infrastructure across the country, especially the lesser known sports.

What the government was looking for now, he said, was partnership on a public-private basis to undertake capital intensive investment projects.

In his remarks, the visiting Hungarian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economy, Dr. Laszlo Szabo, said his country regards Ghana as one of the most important economies in Africa.

“There are vast opportunities we can offer each other in economics, trade, investment, sports and culture,” said Dr. Szabo, pointing out that “we are amplifying relations between Hungary and Ghana.”

As a first step, he hinted that his outfit had decided to offer scholarships to 10 Ghanaian students to study in Hungary.

On his part, Mr. Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the idea behind the establishment of the trade office in Accra and expressed the hope that a fruitful relationship would emerge.

The Chief Executive of the Hungarian National Trading House, Gyorgy Kerekes, said the trading house was established last year to form a global network in search of new markets outside Europe.

“We will be ready to share our knowledge and competencies, and we are always opened to new ideas,” he stated.

Mr. Kerekes indicated that the Hunghat Limited was 99 per cent Hungarian government-owned and one per cent Hungarian Chamber of Commerce owned.

On his part, Mr. Kojo Oteng, Chief Executive of Hunghat Limited, said, “We want to see how we can leverage our relationship with Hungary wider and spread it to the business community, through viable projects in terms of business services”.

We will look at long term and short term investments, therefore, the main approach will be to identify major initiatives and smaller SMEs,” he stressed.

Mr. Oteng said there was skills transfer aspect of the partnership to help Ghana to scale up production and be a great competitor in the global market, stressing that “We want our manufacturing sector to be more efficient and competitive in the global market.”

By Samuel Nuamah

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