Ghana and Indonesia must work hard to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
The Minister of Trade and Industry ,Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah in a speech read for him at the opening of the Ghana and Indonesia business forum and exhibition in Accra on Friday said the two countries have many things in common which could be tapped to ensure the growth of both economies.
The forum was attended by a 15-member Indonesia trade delegation representing seven companies drawn from pharmaceutical, agro- processing, food and beverages among others.
“My ministry sees the Indonesia business forum, as a shared partnership between Ghana and Indonesia to further promote and improve our development agenda. We are committed to providing the enabling environment to attract the requisite business partnerships and synergies towards the attainment of higher middle-income country status for our respective countries,” he said.
Data from the International Centre for Trade in 2013 shows that Ghana received a total import value of $ 174,502,000 from Indonesia with major products on animal, vegetable fats and oils, cleavage products, etc amounting to $ 82,559,000, machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers etc amounting to $ 27,101,000, soaps, lubricants, waxes, candles, modelling pastes amounting to $ 24,565,000, paper, meat, fish and sea food preparations amounting to $ 5,744,000.
Ghana’s total exports to Indonesia amounted to $ 11,315,000.
Major products of export to Indonesia were cocoa and cocoa preparations amounting to $ 9,332,000, and cotton $ 1,964,000.
The period recorded a negative trade balance of $ 163,187,000 although Ghana’s export of cotton recorded a positive trade balance of $ 1,964,000.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah said the government would continue to provide a conducive environment to attract foreign investment into the critical sectors of the economy.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, said the event was organised to enhance trade relations between Ghanaians and Indonesians.
“This exhibition is an effective platform for the promotion of Indonesian products into the Ghanaian market, as well as provides a business network between Ghanaians and Indonesians,” he said.
Mr. Purwanto said both countries have had long lasting relations which needed to strengthened further noted that both countries’ potential was huge.
The Ambassador also urged Ghanaian businesses to attend the forthcoming Indonesia International Trade Expo, slated for October 12 to 16 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Purwanto said that the Expo would afford Ghanaians interested in doing businesses with Indonesian companies’ first-hand opportunities of interacting with more Indonesian product manufacturers.
The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I in a speech read for him said both countries especially Ghana must increase its exports to the Indonesian market.
“Ghana is not maximizing its exports to the Indonesia which the Chamber believes could be addressed by the trade collaboration and investment partnership with Indonesia,” he said.
By David Adadevoh