Ghana, Slovenia hold business summit

Slovenia, a member of the European Union, says it plans to expand trade and business relations with Ghana, especially in the non-traditional export sector.

A delegation of investors from Slovenia has, therefore, engaged officials of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and other trade promotion agencies to explore ways to deepen the relationship on business and investment opportunities in Ghana.

The organisations include the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Currently, Slovenia and Ghana’s trade relations are skewed in favour of the former.

Ghana’s total import from Slovenia amounted to 9.3 million dollars in 2017, while non-traditional exports from Ghana to Slovenia amounted to only 645,000 dollars in 2017.

Speaking at the Ghana-Slovenia Business Summit in Accra, Mr Dobran Bozic, the Slovenian Deputy Foreign Minister, said the choice of Ghana was because of the expanding economic opportunities and the stable political environment.

“The stable political landscape and sound macroeconomic fundamentals are enough for investments and we are confident of mutual benefit,” he said.

He said the Slovenians are exploring the opportunities as partners because business activities between the two countries had picked up in recent years.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said the visit would strengthen the relationship between the two countries and provide the prospects for future engagements.

He said Ghana’s political stability was underpinned by strong institutions that guaranteed safety of investments and security.

Besides, Ghana’s proximity to Europe and other countries makes her a preferred investment destination.

Mr Kyeremanten said domestic and foreign investment were key to growth and economic development and urged the two countries to capitalise on the summit to push for more trade and beneficial investment that was consistent with the two countries’ peculiar needs and in line with pressing global commitments.

He urged the Slovenian businessmen to take advantage of the free trade agreements entered into by Ghana such as the EPA with the EU, the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act with the USA, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme to use Ghana as a production point to reach the larger population in the ECOWAS Sub-region.

The Minister encouraged the Slovenian business delegation to invest in Ghana because the returns would be significant.

Ms Afua Asabea Asare, the CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), said the Slovenian investors would help expand the country’s export margins.

“We’re helping each other; we’re looking at where we can mutually collaborate to work. So far, they have expressed interest in cocoa and cashew and we hope to see how the business engagements will yield the needed economic margins,” she stated.

Ms Asare said GEPA was looking to boost NTE’s exports to markets in Africa and other Eastern European countries such as Slovenia. GNA

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