ACCRA, GHANA - World Trade Center Accra (WTC Accra), Ghana’s leading trade and investment promotion organization has participated in a Seminar on International Production Capacity Cooperation for Belt & Roads (B&R) Countries organized by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The seminar which commenced on 26th April and ended on 18th May 2017, brought together government and private sector officials from more than 16 B & R countries.
The Belt & Roads Initiative is a development strategy proposed by the leader of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, to promote connectivity and cooperation between China, Asia, Europe and Africa.
According to Mr. Li Dawei, an expert from the National Development and Reform Commission of China, the B & R initiative is an all-inclusive one that welcomes the participation of any country in the world. It covers industries such as textiles, light industry, household appliance, electronics, automobile, communication, agriculture, steel, non-ferous metals, petroleum, chemical engineering, building materials, energy, railways, highways, airports, ports, research and development, consulting, professional services, business services, machinery, shipping and transportation equipments.
As part of the seminar, the Head of Research and Trade Education at the World Trade Center Accra, Mr. Bright Awuye, presented Ghanaian investment opportunities to over 150 investors in sectors such as solar, oil and gas, ceramics, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, machinery and construction.
He told the investors that contrary to popular opinion that elections in Africa leads to conflict, Ghana has successfully changed government through elections, the recent one in 2017. ‘This should assure you that your investments are always secured given the fact that Ghana also strictly adheres to rule of law’, he said.
According to him, China has a lot of investments in Ghana and reminded them that the good environment for investors has made this possible. Among Chinese investments and projects in Ghana, Mr. Awuye mentioned Sunon Asogli Power Plant, Ghana Gas, Tang Palace Hotel and African World Airlines, among others. He said connectivity among African countries is a major hindrance to integration efforts of the continent. As a result, Africa awaits the commercial production of Chinese made C919 airplanes. He said Africa World Airlines, which has Chinese investment and was founded by Togbe Afede XIV, the Chairman of WTC Accra, has brought tremendous dynamism to the aviation industry in Ghana and he expressed the hope that the introduction of the C919 will aid the integration of Africa and also spur Ghana-China trade.
Speaking on current developments in Ghana, Mr. Awuye said the government has an agenda to quicken the pace of development in Ghana over the next four years. This is anchored on manufacturing and infrastructure development and needs foreign direct investment for success. ‘The government has established a Railway Ministry and would like to tap into China’s vast experience in railway infrastructure development’, he informed the investors.
He said bilateral trade with China increased from $2billion in 2010 to $6.6billion in 2015, an increase of 221%. He told the investors that products such as footwear, chemicals, fabrics and ceramics are among the top 10 products imported from China which can easily be produced in Ghana under the government’s current flagship programme of “one district one factory”. He further explained that the Government of Ghana’s policy on one new factory per district is consistent with the Belt and Roads initiative of the People’s Republic of China. ‘What Ghana seeks is a partnership that creates a win-win for both Ghanaian investors and their Chinese partners’, he asserted.
As a follow-up to a cooperation agreement signed with CCPIT Training Center in September 2016, the Head of Facilities of WTC Accra, Mr. George Bampoh, signed a cooperation agreement with the Shandong Province of CCPIT. The agreement seeks to deepen trade and investment cooperation with CCPIT and businesses in Shandong Province.