UK-Ghana Business Council meeting underway in London

pThe United Kingdom-Ghana Business Council meeting underway in London from February 25 to 27, is part of efforts to accelerate ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ through a common purpose.

A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the UK government welcomes Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The Vice President’s entourage includes several cabinet ministers including the Ministers of Finance, Trade and Industry, Planning, Tourism and Rail plus the deputy ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Deputy Attorney General.

It said Madam Harriett Baldwin, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, would co-chair the second UK-Ghana Business Council Meeting at Lancaster House on February 26.

“This new partnership is the primary driver for UK-Ghana relations that brings with it a whole-of-government approach, on both sides, to sharpen our focus on mutual priorities around trade and investment, economic development, job creation and the business environment,” the statement said.

It noted that the Ghanaian delegation would be met by an equally impressive group of UK cabinet ministers, junior ministers, parliamentarians and UK private sector partners, all united with the common purpose of shaping a UK offer that would accelerate the President’s vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid”.

It said this marks a critical moment for the bilateral relationship, and was the culmination of a year of intense engagement.

“It is the first time that we have convened such a high-level group in London. This meeting will prioritise specific sectors of economic development where the UK and Ghana can focus effort: agro-processing, extractives, financial services and garments/textiles,” it added.

The statement noted that it would enable both sides to overcome existing constraints, and transform the business environment that would boost bilateral trade and investment.

It said there would be opportunities to discuss and agree on trade and investment deals, worth in excess of £1 billion.

It said in the margins of the meeting there was a packed programme of bilateral activity that demonstrates the breadth of the UK-Ghana relationship.

According to the schedule the Vice President Bawumia, and Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, would meet with Mr Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and visit the leadership of The London Stock Exchange.

It said Mr Adam Afriyie, Trade Envoy to Ghana of the UK Prime Minister would host a reception and dinner for the delegation that includes UK parliamentarians, businesses and members of the Diaspora in the Houses of Parliament.

It said Vice President Bawumia would speak at Chatham House to outline his economic vision for Ghana as an attractive destination for investment on the theme – ‘Ghana’s inclusive economic future: approaches to achieving transformative growth’.

Speaking ahead of the council meeting, Mr Iain Walker, the British High Commissioner to Ghana said: “The UK-Ghana Business Council meeting is the forum to drive forward the new strategic partnership between the UK and Ghana.

“We share a common purpose: President Akufo-Addo’s vision for ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ aligns with the UK government’s new strategic approach to Africa,” the statement said.

“The UKGBC is the process for translating our common purpose into practical action.

“Through intense engagement on both sides, we are sharpening focus on a few key priority areas – bringing an integrated whole-of-government approach – that will spur long-term for economic growth, create jobs and encourage greater trade and investment between our two countries.”

The UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) is a biannual high-level meeting between top UK and Ghana government officials and ministers.

The meeting is used as a vehicle to move forward a new strategic economic partnership between the UK and Ghana that focuses on increased trade and investment and additionally emphasises the development of priority sectors of the Ghanaian economy that leads to job creation and sustained economic growth. GNA

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