Trade Minister urges closer ties between Ghana, Swiss investor

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has called for improved partnership between Ghana and Swiss investors in developing Ghana’s pharmaceutical and machinery manufacturing industries. 

“With the expertise of Switzerland in this sector, Ghana stands a chance to learn a lot from Switzerland and the manufacturing of industrial machinery and equipment will reinforce our capacity to pursue industrialisation,” he added.

He was speaking in Accra on Friday when the Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Philipp Stalder, paid him a courtesy call.

Additionally, Mr Kyerematen noted that Ghana was focused on developing its jewelry industry by adding value to its raw gold before export.

To this end, he urged Swiss investors to venture into business operations that would help Ghana add value to its gold and maximise gains from the sectors.

Ghana and Switzerland, he said, have for years, maintained cordial bilateral relations which had enabled the two countries to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the areas of trade, investment and development assistance. 

He said Switzerland was one of the few countries that Ghana records a trade surplus.

Currently the primary goods such as gold, cocoa beans, cocoa paste and tropical fruits dominate Ghana’s exports to Switzerland, whilst imports from Switzerland to Ghana includes packaged medicaments, wheat, large construction vehicles, scented mixtures.

The total value of bilateral trade between the two countries between 2010 and 2019 is estimated at $26.5 billion, with Ghana recording trade surpluses in all the years with the highest trade surplus of $4.8 billion recorded in 2019.

“It is not just the statistics but the component of the export that is important and our development will be enhanced. This development corporation can be replicated with other countries,” Mr Kyerematen said.

He expressed gratitude to Switzerland for supporting the implementation of Ghana’s trade policy and trade sector support programme by providing development funding and technical assistance to Ghana in the areas of intellectual property (IP) rights and quality standards. 

On his part, Philipp Stalder said Switzerland was ready to support Ghana in its industrialisation drive.

In that regard, he said, Ghana and Switzerland have signed an agreement for putting up industrialised structures.

Ghana, Mr Stalder said had been a priority country for Switzerland’s development corporation since 2002 with Ghana benefiting from more than $365 million of development assistance from Switzerland. 

Switzerland, he said, implemented more than 30 major projects in Ghana to contribute to inclusive economic development with focus on strengthening institutions to be more accountable and effective in public service delivery through decentralised budget support and domestic revenue mobilisation, among others.

Pix: Swiss 1/Samba 19/04/2021

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