Abu Dhabi, 6 September 2018: The UAE-Ghana Business and Investment Forum was held in Ghanaian capital of Accra recently, in the presence of representatives of several government agencies, investment entities, economic officials and businessmen from both countries. The forum, which represented an important step in furthering ties between the UAE and Ghana, discussed ways to strengthen existing relations and expand cooperation in key economic sectors of mutual interest.
H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs, who led the UAE delegation, said at the forum that the UAE-Africa bilateral relation is a crucial one, linked to development across constructive economic indicators and affirmed the UAE’s keenness to enhance economic relations with other countries in the world, consolidate channels of business partnership and collaborate with other nations for important projects.
H.E noted that the UAE seeks to strengthen economic relations with the Republic of Ghana and take them to greater heights, in the context of the rapid developments across Ghana, which is one of the most developed economies in West Africa.
H.E Al Saleh said that trade between Ghana and the UAE has grown rapidly over the years, driven mainly by various investment projects. He added that the total volume of trade exchange between both countries stood at USD 1.2 billion in 2017 and today, Ghana is fast emerging as a key market for the UAE. Several UAE companies are investing in Ghana, especially in sectors like infrastructure, communications and tourism, which reflects the Ghana Government’s efforts to strengthen its economy, attract investors and establish strong partnerships with the private sector.
UAE’s proximity with the African continent makes it a convenient trade partner, H.E said, adding that UAE’s international recognition as a global node for trade and re-export and its important role in the Belt and Road Initiative, would pave the way for stronger partnership with Ghana and other West African countries in future.
He pointed out that the UAE had attained top ranks in several regional and global indicators, such as occupying the top spot in the Middle East region and 30th in the world in terms of its ability to attract foreign direct investment. He also said that Net inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the UAE rose to USD 10.4 per cent, which made it the top Arab country, accounting for 36 percent of the total FDI inflow of Arab countries. It was also ranked 21st globally and 1st among the Arab countries in outbound FDI flows, accounting for 42 per cent of FDI flows from the Arab region to the world, for 2017.
Bilateral meeting with the Ministry of Trade of Ghana
H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh met with H.E Hon Robot Ahomica, Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana, in the presence of H.E Khalifa Yousif Mohammed Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Ghana, and discussed ways to enhance cooperation, strengthen investment opportunities and boost trade exchange between the UAE and the Republic of Ghana.
The meeting reviewed the latest milestones in the bilateral relationship between both countries, and ways to enhance mutual collaboration to achieve the development goals of both nations.
H.E. Al Saleh said that both the UAE and Ghana have benefitted from a market-based economy powered by a liberalized foreign trade policy and that the UAE is working diligently to penetrate newer markets within Ghana, especially in key sectors of mutual interest, like aviation and transportation, technology, agriculture, mining, water resources, renewable energy, export and import and investment. He added that some of the other vital areas of partnership included participation in trade fairs and expos and enhancing bilateral visits in order to exchange experiences. H.E also called for the establishment of a representative office of Ghana in the UAE, to promote greater ties.
H.E Hon Robot Ahomica, Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana welcomed the UAE delegation, and said that Ghana was keen to strengthen mutual ties and encourage deeper cooperation, in the light of the remarkable successes achieved by the UAE and the strong ties that existed between the two countries.
He reviewed the latest developments in Ghana since the presidential elections in 2017 and said that the Ghana Government aims to enhance its attractiveness to foreign investments by 2020 and take a qualitative leap forward on the strength of many development components available in Ghana, and by focusing on partnership, empowerment and support. The minister also highlighted the opportunities available for UAE investments, particularly in the petrochemical industry, as well as investment opportunities in the aluminum and Iron and Steel sectors, while discussing other channels of partnership between the two countries.
The UAE delegation comprised Mohammed Nasser Hamdan Al Zaabi, Director of Commercial Promotion at the Ministry of Economy; Tariq Al Hashemi, representatives from the External Relations and Partnerships department at the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, and many high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Ghana.
The two-day business and investment forum between the UAE and Ghana included several workshops and showcase the experiences of business entities in both countries to discover the best partnership opportunities. More than 80 meetings were held between businessmen from both sides.
The UAE’s delegation includes many of representatives of The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, DP World, Sharaf Group, Al Kendi Group, Sawaeed, and many of companies and business entities in the country.