28 June 2013
South Africa and Ghana are committed to fast-tracking the implementation of an economic and technical co-operation agreement signed in 2011, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe told a business seminar in Accra on Thursday.
Thabethe is leading a delegation of South African businesspeople on a trade and investment mission to Ghana.
“Relations between South Africa and Ghana have matured over the years, and the increase in bilateral trade from US$32-million in 2008 to $60.9-million is indicative of this maturity,” Thabethe said.
“As much as relations have matured, I believe there exists further potential to increase trade, particularly in value-added products between our two countries and the region,” Thabethe said.
“With the recent discovery of oil, I would urge Ghana to take advantage of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone for the servicing of oil and gas rigs and for broader upstream exploration.”
Thabethe also announced that South Africa would be taking a National Pavilion to the Ghana International Trade Fair in 2014.
Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry Haruna Idrissu, also addressing Thursday’s seminar, expressed Ghana’s commitment to deepening economic trade with South Africa.
“It is my belief that we present to you the most conducive conditions to conducting business in Ghana. Our constitution is against expropriation, and we are assuring you of significant openness to trading.
“We welcome South African entities that want to invest in any sector, and are prepared to assist all value-adding projects. Entities looking to invest in Ghana on private-public partnerships will be incentivised, particularly those in the agro-processing sector,” Idrissu said.
South Africa’s high commissioner in Ghana, Jeanette Ndhlovu, said the time for resolutions and declarations was now over. “We now have to move for concrete action,” she said.
The mission was due to continue on Friday with business-to-business meetings between South African and Ghanaian companies, as well as site visits to industry related projects