MIL-OSI Africa: SA, Ghana have great potential to unlock economic opportunities

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Source: South Africa News Agency

President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is great potential to unlock economic opportunities through investment-led trade initiatives aimed at increasing the trade of value-added products between South Africa and Ghana.

“We need to move beyond trade in commodities and on to the purchase of job creating agricultural goods, and advanced manufactured and value-added products,” President Ramaphosa said.

Addressing the SA-Ghana Business Forum held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa said South Africa and Ghana share a long and rich history defined by the struggle for freedom.

“This history provides a firm foundation to forge closer economic ties that can spur growth and development in both countries,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa is pleased to host the Business Forum to explore business opportunities that enhance bilateral economic relations.

Earlier in the day, President Ramaphosa and his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Akufo-Addo, reaffirmed the importance of nurturing of the existing historic relations and bonds of friendship between the two countries.

The two Heads of State emphasised that these relations are based on mutual partnership and solidarity, which date back to the struggle against apartheid and colonialism.

President Akufo-Addo is in South Africa on a working visit at the invitation of President Ramaphosa to co-chair the 2nd Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries.

Tuesday’s BNC, which was held at the Department of International Relations offices in Pretoria, was preceded by a ministerial meeting on Monday,11 March. Meanwhile, a senior officials meeting was held on Friday, 8 March.

At the Business Forum, President Ramaphosa said Africa has been at the lower-end of global value chains.

“We have abundant natural resources, but limited productive capability to process them for higher value capture.

“However, the need for a global transition to a low-carbon future offers the continent new opportunities to upgrade and diversify into technology-intensive global value chains. Our two countries are in a strategic position to benefit from the rapid growth of key clean energy manufacturing industries.

“Most of the minerals critical for the manufacturing of clean energy technologies, such as battery storage and electric vehicles, are held in Africa,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa said there is a need to improve manufacturing capacity and scale up production and export through the building of domestic and regional linkages and value chains.

READ | SA, Ghana explore ways to expand trade and investment

“It is important to explore practical cooperation between key players in industry to foster effective and mutually beneficial collaboration between our countries to promote green industrialisation.

“This will help to build on the strong trade and investment links between our economies. South Africa is already the largest purchaser of Ghanaian exports in Africa, and the third largest importer of Ghana’s products globally,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa emphasised the need to move beyond trade in commodities and on to the purchase of job-creating agricultural goods, advanced manufactured and value-added products.

“The importance of Ghana to South Africa as an anchor partner country within West Africa is affirmed by the many South African trade missions to explore business opportunities in the form of investment-led trade,” he said.

The relationship between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Ghana has grown exponentially over the years.

Cooperation between the two countries has been elevated from a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) that is held at a Ministerial level to a Bi-National Commission, presided over by the two Heads of State and Government.

The Business Forum brought together companies and entrepreneurs from South Africa and Ghana with the aim of deepening trade and mutual investment and leveraging the opportunities created within the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Expanded trade and investment will stimulate growth and job creation in both countries and facilitate closer people-to-people interaction between the two nations. – SAnews.gov.za

MIL OSI Africa