Ghana looking to deepen economic cooperation with UAE

President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo expressed his country's keenness to develop its economic and trade cooperation with the UAE in light of the growing bilateral ties between the two friendly nations.

DUBAI, TGO: President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo expressed his country’s keenness to develop its economic and trade cooperation with the UAE in light of the growing bilateral ties between the two friendly nations, lauding the constructive cooperation approach adopted by the UAE, and its remarkable development and prosperity seen across various fields and sectors.

The African leader made the remarks as he attended ‘The Ghana: Limitless Opportunities Business’ Forum which kicked off today with high-profile dignitaries attending, including Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

Held at Jafza One Convention Center, Jebel Ali Free zone, Dubai, the one-day business forum has provided a platform for investors and businessmen from Ghana and Dubai to meet and explore viable, profitable business and investment opportunities.

It has also provided an opportunity for both countries to strengthen trade and investment ties, as well as explore new bilateral treaties that will benefit various sectors of their economies.

“Ghana is interested to deepen its economic cooperation and bilateral relations with the UAE, President Akufo-Addo said while outlining Ghana’s promising investment opportunities available in various agricultural, industrial and mining sectors, in addition to its competitive advantages provided to investors within a stimulating business environment,’.

He stressed that Ghana has developed to become one of the best African countries for doing business thanks to its strategic location, prolific natural resources, and economic recovery programmes, launched recently to tackle Covid-19 repercussions and catapult the country’s economy to new heights of growth and development.

“Ghana is not only the best place for doing business in West Africa, but the fastest growing economy in the world according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2019, he added.

The Ghanaian President stressed the importance of the private sector engagement in supporting the economic growth of countries, adding that the “Ghana: Limitless Opportunities Business Forum,” represented an important opportunity to introduce the business community in the UAE to the business climate and investment opportunities available in Ghana.

He affirmed that Ghana is willing to build long-term strategic partnership relations with the UAE, calling on investors, companies and the business community in the UAE to visit the African country and take advantage of its distinguished facilities.

Welcoming the Ghanaian President and the accompanying delegation to the UAE, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, stressed that the UAE and Ghana share strong economic relations with Ghana based on the principles of friendship, constructive cooperation and respect for common interests, lauding the two countries’ keenness to take their distinguished relations to new levels.

Addressing the event audience, Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE has always enjoyed warm and friendly relations with this West African partner and welcomes events such as these that contribute to boosting economic ties between our two countries. The UAE ranks 7th globally and first in the Arab world among Ghana’s trading partners. The UAE accounts for more than 4 per cent of Ghana’s foreign trade with the world – and more than 75 per cent of its total trade with the Arab world.”

“The value of non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and Ghana amounted to US$2.7 billion in 2021, reflecting a 25% growth compared to 2020 – and 56% compared to 2019. Moreover, Ghana is among the most important African markets for the UAE’s non-oil trade,” the minister said.

“In terms of investments, the value of Ghanaian direct investments in the UAE exceeded US$5.3 million by the end of 2019. The value of the UAE’s direct investment in Ghana, meanwhile, totaled nearly US$300 million, placing the UAE as the 9th most important FDI source globally and first in the Arab world,” Al Zeyoudi noted.

The event was attended by Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE and Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Walid Hareb Al Falahy, CEO of UAE Trade Center and the Dubai Consultancy.

This is in addition to Yofi Grant, CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Omar Abdulaziz Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ahmad Al Haddad, Chief Operating Officer of DP World, Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Essa Al Ghurair Investment and member of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Jamal Saif Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors Council.

The event also welcomed several CEOs, managers of a number of local governmental and private economic activities and representatives of the Ghanaian business community.

During the one-day forum, the UAE and Ghana signed five memoranda of understanding (MoUs). The first was signed between Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Dubai Consultancy (DC) to establish a presence in the UAE and set up a GIPC office in the country in cooperation with DC to promote and attract investment to Ghana. This is in addition to another MoU between the UAE’s Ministry of Economy and Ghana’s Ministry of Economy to enhance economic and technical cooperation. The UAE International Investors Council and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre signed the third MoU to facilitate attracting investments from the UAE to Ghana. The fourth MoU was signed between the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce to establish the UAE-Ghana Business Council, in addition to another MoU on technology equipment and information exchange with investment opportunities between the two countries.

The forum kicked off with a session discussing opportunities in Ghana’s manufacturing and tourism sector in addition to another panel discussion about the opportunities available in Ghana’s energy, sanitation and housing sectors. The two sessions highlighted the promising investment opportunities in Ghana’s vital sectors as well as its most important incentives and competitive advantages offered to investors, its flexible legislative environment and strategic location that makes it a gateway to Africa.

According to data from the World Bank, Ghana with a GDP of US$68.5 billion is the second-largest economy in West Africa. Ghana is also rich in resources and was rated as Africa’s number one producer of Gold, number two producer of Cocoa and also produces significant amounts of Oil, bauxite, manganese and other minerals.