Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has expressed the need for developed nations to partner the Government of Ghana’s industrialization agenda of Ghana Beyond Aid, adding that such moves will help build a self-reliant Ghana and Africa as a whole.
Taking her turn at a joint press briefing in Istanbul, Turkey as part of a two-day official visit,
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey called on Ghana and Turkey to work towards enhancing their trade volumes for mutual benefits
“Our President is serious on this policy (Ghana Beyond Aid) because we all believe that aid cannot develop any country. It is when you are self-reliant, when you are adding value to raw materials and so we have looked at the diversification of our raw materials among other things, where we are adding value, where we are attracting investment into our country, where we are finding new markets for our raw materials. These are the things that will bring development to us and for us to reach a Ghana beyond aid” She said.
According to the Ghanaian Foreign Minister, trade relations between Ghana and Turkey have over the years seen some strides, making Ghana, Turkey’s 3rd largest trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
She noted however that
in 2018, the trade volume reduced to $406.26 million, urging both sides to work to enhance trade volumes in the coming years.
As a result, she called for the resumption of the Ghana-Turkey Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation meeting and Political Dialogue between the two countries to further strengthen both nations’ bilateral relations, particularly, in the areas of trade and investment.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey also lauded efforts to hold the 5th Ghana-Turkey Joint Economic Commission Session scheduled to be held in Ankara from 22nd to 23rd January, 2020 which has been put on hold since 2014 and assured her host that Ghana was ready to make the most of this opportunity.
The Minister informed her hosts that the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, since its inception in January 2017, has made significant strides to better the lot of the Ghanaian people through the introduction of various interventions such as the Free Senior High School Policy; Planting for Food and Jobs programme and the One District One Factory initiative among others.
According to her, as a result of the stable political and sound investment climate, the implementation of sound macroeconomic policies and a number of measures such as the reduction of the fiscal deficit, reduction in lending rates, stability in electricity supply, investor confidence, among others, has been boosted, thereby making Ghana a favourable destination for investment.
The minister also revealed that there are ongoing political consultations and regional cooperations between both countries to boost Turkish trade and investment across Africa in the wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which will be headquartered in Ghana.
“Nobody thought that Africa could finish and make progress with the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. We’ve done it, We’ve ratified it, it’s in force and Africa is the biggest winner. Ghana fortunately is hosting the headquarters of a 1.2 billion market with a combined GDP of over 3 trillion dollars. I think this is a market that any investor would want to look at and I believe that the launch pad is for the world to come to Ghana, into the rest of Africa”. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told reporters at the briefing.
The Hon. Minister therefore urged Turkish investors to take advantage of the favourable investment environment in Ghana and continue to do business in the country.