SA keen to improve relations with Ghana

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry says South Africa is keen to balance trade with Ghana.

Speaking at the South Africa-Ghana Business Forum in the capital, the dti’s Deputy Director-General of Trade and Investment South Africa and Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Lerato Mataboge, said balancing two-way trade can be achieved by identifying new investment and trade opportunities.

Thursday’s business forum took place on the margins of the state visit to South Africa by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo who met with President Cyril Rampahosa.

Mataboge said that it’s imperative for South African businesses to invest in Ghana in order to support economic diversification and create value-chains; as well as for the improved presence of Ghanaian goods and services in the South African market.

“Today’s gathering offers our respective businesspeople the opportunity to renew the economic relationship and strengthen economic ties. We are here to deliberate on how we can collectively address our two countries’ challenges to economic growth by beneficiating our resource endowments, accelerating infrastructure development, creating value chains and deepening regional integration,” she said.

Mataboge said opportunities in aviation, tourism and construction, liquefied natural gas, warehousing as well as agro-processing and other agricultural production exist in Ghana.

“We are ready to work with Ghana to contribute to the realisation of some of their infrastructure and manufacturing project deliverables that are listed in their investment projects priority list.”

The business forum was held as part of efforts to ramp-up investment facilitation between South Africa and Ghana over the next two years so as to reach the respective countries’ investment targets.

“Ghana has a target of $2.8 billion this year alone, South Africa has a target of $100 billion over the next five years. There remains a lot of room for growth in terms of engagements between the private sectors of our two countries and in fostering more public – private partnerships.

“Our discussions today should result in a clear way forward in terms of short to medium term goals for forging a stronger bilateral trade and investment relationships. This is the plan that our two Heads of State will expect from us,” she said.

Ghana’s Director-General of Investment Promotion, Yofi Grant called for a regionalisation of African economies.

“As Africa we cannot continue exporting resources to the other world and playing an insignificant role in the lower base end of the economy. We are looking for real African partnerships in oil, and gas exploration, rail, road infrastructure, real estate, the establishment of industrial parks and agriculture,” he said.

Grant added that Ghana had a thriving community of South Africa businesses plying their trade in his country.

“I believe that these companies are placed in the best position to give testimonies on the welcoming business climate that awaits prospective investors in my country,” said Grant.

Meanwhile, South Africa and the West African nation on Thursday also announced the upgrade of their relations with one another through a Bi-National Commission (BNC).

The BNC, which will be led by President Ramaphosa and his Ghanaian counterpart President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will meet bi-annually alternating between Accra and Tshwane in order to build on the bilateral and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The BNC, which was announced after official talks during the State visit by Akufo-Addo in Tshwane, was aimed at strengthening the already good political, economic and social relations between South Africa and Ghana. –