Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has encouraged Saudi Arabian investors to make Ghana their preferred investment destination in Africa.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey made the call as she held separate talks with business migul and a member of the Saudi Royal family, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as well as the Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Sami bin Abdullah Al-Obaidi, in Riyadh on Sunday January 26, 2020.
The Minister was in Riyadh from Friday January 24 to Sunday January 26 and held bilateral talks with Saudi authorities aimed at strengthening relations between Ghana and the Saudi Kingdom
She encouraged Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to step up his investments in Ghana.
Already, the Saudi Prince has undertaken a number of projects in Ghana including the construction of the Alwaleed School, donation to build a mosque, support for the fund of an Early Child Center and the Otumfuo Education Fund, among others.
The Ghanaian Foreign Minister observed that Ghana as a peaceful and stable country offers a gateway to the entire West African market and beyond for the investment interests of Saudi Arabian industries.
She therefore welcomed opportunities to form mutually beneficial strategic alliances in that regard.
Hon Ayorkor Botchwey urged that Saudi investors take advantage of the attractive incentives, within the context of the Ghanaian Government’s agenda to industrialize the economy, to invest in Ghana.
She stated that since the outlook for the Saudi economy is very positive and Ghana is also an oil-producing country, the two countries could work towards closer trade and investment cooperation in the field of oil and gas.
In her meeting with the President of the Saudi Council for Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Al-Obaidi described the Minister’s visit as very important for the Saudi business community, saying the meeting is going to be the cornerstone for transforming the relationship between the private sectors of both countries.
He said the meeting with the Foreign Ministry was going to improve the current mutual relationship between Ghana and Saudi Arabia in the areas of commerce and trade.
He was optimistic that the visit would lead to attracting investors from Ghana to Saudi Arabia and vice versa to increase the trade volume between both nations.
He spoke about Saudi Arabia’s move to assist small and medium scale enterprises in Ghana including the decision to set up an export finance bank with an amount of 30 billion Riyadh seed fund to among other things finance Ghanaian exporters exporting to Saudi Arabia.
According to him, the bank is to also support the mining industry in Ghana.
Saudi Arabia is Ghana’s oldest bilateral partner in the Gulf Region and that, Ghana’s relations with Riyadh have paved the way for the expansion of its bilateral relations to the rest of the countries in the region.
Saudi Arabia, therefore, continues to remain a priority partner for Ghana in the region, according to her.
Currently, Saudi Arabia’s investment in Ghana spread across the Energy, Agricultural, Educational, Transport and Health sectors.
The Ghanaian Minister expressed the belief that strengthening relations between Ghana and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very important.
She noted that in terms of economics, the Kingdom is the leader in the region.
One area Ghanaian and Saudi authorities agreed to invest a lot of efforts in is in the area of trade and investment.
On trade in the Middle East, she acknowledged that Saudi Arabia has been noted for its strong and resilient economy as well as being one of the world’s leading producers of oil.
She also noted that the Saudi population is young and increasingly well-educated, with tremendous potential to boost growth and further raise the standard of living in the Kingdom.