Ghana, Switzerland sign cocoa deal…… to add value to raw cocoa beans

President Akufo-Addo welcoming President Doris Leuthard of Switzerland

President Akufo-Addo welcoming President Doris Leuthard of Switzerland

Ghana and Switzerland have agreed to undertake joint projects aimed at increasing cocoa production in Ghana and adding value to the country’s raw cocoa beans.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to that effect yesterday when the President of Switzerland, Doris Leuthard, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House yesterday.

The two countries also agreed to increase their trade volume in the areas of gold and cocoa from Ghana and chemicals, pharmaceuticals, among others, from Switzerland.

Ghana is currently Switzerland’s largest trading partner in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, trade between the two countries amounted to over US$2 billion.

At a press conference jointly held with the Swiss President, President Akufo-Addo said his government would pursue programmes aimed at adding value to the country’s cocoa beans.

“Ghana, under my presidency, will no longer become a mere producers and exporters of cocoa beans. We will process more and more of our cocoa here in our country. There can be no future prosperity for our people in the short, medium or long term if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials.”

“We intend to add value to our raw material resources, industrialise and enhance agricultural productivity. This is the only way we can put Ghana at the high end of the value chain in the global market space and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana and Switzerland had agreed to explore opportunities to boost the volume of trade between the two countries.

“We discussed the need to explore further business opportunities for the two countries, as well as boost the volumes of trade.”

“We acknowledged happily, the improvement in the trade figures over the last couple of years and that trade must go beyond the two commodities of gold and cocoa, which over several decades have constituted the backbone of our trading relations,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said he and the Swiss President discussed and agreed on the need for Ghana to become a member of the Human Rights Appeal Caucus.

“We took the opportunity also to solicit Swiss support for the candidature of Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, a distinguished Ghanaian jurist, for election to the International Criminal Court (ICC) during the elections, which will be held in the 16th session of the Assembly of State Parties to the ICC from December 4 -14, 2017,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to highlight the importance that Ghana and the African Union attach to the long, overdue process of UN Reform, especially of the Security Council, to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa.

President Leuthard, on her part, said her country considered Ghana a reliable trade partner and expressed her country’s readiness to push its relations with Ghana further

He said there were Swiss businesses here in Ghana in the areas of energy, pharmaceuticals, logistics, finance, chocolate and added that her country had identified Ghana’s agricultural sector as a viable area of investment.

The two leaders, in a closed-door meeting discussed Ghana’s position as one of the Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) priority countries for economic development.

A new Swiss co-operation strategy for Ghana which involves an amount of US$80 million to support the enhanced competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises and  diversification of the country’s economy was signed by the leaders of the two countries.

The two sides acknowledged that the issue of migration and mobility has gripped the attention of the world in recent years, and decided to cooperate further in ensuring legal and safer means of migration.

By Yaw Kyei

email
Print Friendly

Leave a Comment