Czech-Ghana Business Forum held in Prague ... Free Zones Board woos investors

Thu, 28-Sep-2017, 00:02

The Czech government has committed to further improve its economic ties with Ghana as its fifth largest trading partner in the sub-Saharan African.

The Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Mr Vladimir Barti, who made the commitment, said the potential to improve on the terms of trade between the two countries was huge and needed to be fully harnessed.

He was addressing the Czech-Ghana Business Forum, which was a gathering of business executives from both countries desirous of developing business partnerships and strategic investments.

The forum was held by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, as part of the first-ever trade mission organised by the Ghana Free Zones Board for 17 Ghanaian companies to seek strategic investments and also partnerships with Czech companies.

Bilateral relations

Mr Barti said the forum marked the revival of 58 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that the Czech government wanted to leave its industrial footprints in Ghana.

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, assured the gathering that Ghana was opened for business and ready to support Czech investors who were willing to invest in Ghana.

"Our government is looking for foreign investors to help in adding value to our exports to improve our foreign exchange earnings. Our government is ready and willing to attract Czech businesses to Ghana.

"In Ghana we have strategic anchor businesses and we intend to make these strategic anchor businesses the pillars on which our economy will grow. We are looking at the petrochemical, textiles and garments, industrial salt, integrated aluminium industries. We are also looking and creating industrial parks for companies to operate from,” he said.

Mr Ahenkorah said the government would allow any company that was ready and willing to invest $50 million and above to negotiate on its own terms.

A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Perry Okudzeto, commended the GFZB for the bold initiative of organising its maiden trade mission.

He said the strong collaboration between academia and industry through research and development was worthy of emulation and it was something that the government would also encourage between Ghanaian academia and industry.

Petroleum hub

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Mr Isaac Osei, said that there were opportunities in the oil and gas industry in Ghana both in the upstream and downstream sectors.

"We have many oil companies both small and big flocking into our country to acquire blocks for both prospecting and developments. We have three active fields working for the development of the country but also guarantee good returns on their investment.

"There are opportunities in many sectors of the economy. There are opportunities in logistics and in collateral management. There are opportunities in the oil and gas sector because Ghana wants to be the petroleum hub supplying countries of the Sahel such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. These are countries that rely on Ghana for the supply of petroleum products.

"In all of this, we need partnerships and we need a strategic partner such as Czech because you have a big reputation as a solid partner," Mr Osei said.

The Ghana Ambassador to Czech, Mrs Virginia Hesse, said there were seven Czech companies which had been listed for private and non- Ghanaian participation for investment and urged the Czech businesses to turn their attention there.

Source:Graphic Gh

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