The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and her counterpart from the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra, have agreed to take steps to enable Ghana increase trade volumes through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.
As a result, the Ghanaian Foreign Minister has invited Dutch investors to take advantage of the favourable investment environment to invest in Ghana.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, on Tuesday, 6th September 2022, held a meeting in The Hague, with Mr. Hoekstra in the margins of the Africa Adaptation Summit which was held in Rotterdam on Monday, 5th September 2022.
Discussions centered on the desire by both countries to strengthen the longstanding cordial relations that have existed between them, founded on mutual commitment to work closely together in many areas of common interest.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey recalled that Ghana and The Netherlands had, over the years, reinforced their collaboration in a wide range of bilateral and multilateral sectors bordering on trade, investment, agriculture, peace and security, among others.
The two ministers, therefore, agreed to follow up on Political Consultations held in Accra early on in 2022 to further enhance partnerships and share best practices in the various sectors.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey also briefed her Dutch counterpart on the economic agenda of the government which is predicated on the transformation of the structure of the economy to perform beyond aid and reduce dependence on imports to become an exporter of semi-processed and manufactured commodities with the private sector at the center of the policy. She added that the process of industrialization leading to the establishment of factories and industries, which Ghana is currently undertaking, would, ultimately, provide job opportunities, particularly, for the Ghanaian youth.
The Minister therefore acknowledged the Dutch Government’s impressive expertise in agriculture and processing of agricultural produce, and recalled her visit to the World Horti Center, which is the knowledge and innovation center for international greenhouse horticulture as well as the Cargill Cocoa Processing Plant, (where Ghana’s Cocoa is primarily used), respectively when she accompanied H.E the President of the Republic on tours of the facilities, on Tuesday September 6, 2022. She affirmed that collaboration with the companies would add impetus to Government’s drive to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and prevent them from embarking on perilous journeys to Europe.
At the multilateral level, the ministers called for cooperation to ensure decisive action in finding a lasting solution to the new threats to global peace and security, including the insecurity in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea, terrorism and violent extremism, climate change and its attendant impact on the environment and livelihoods. The needed collaboration was also affirmed, taking into account Ghana’s membership of the United Nations Security Council, to find a lasting solution to the Russian-Ukrainian war and its attendant challenges such as the rising cost of food, fuel and energy.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey noted, with gratitude, the various forms of collaboration with the Netherlands through private partner sector instruments such as the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), the Development-Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE), the Netherlands Senior Experts Programme (PUM), Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), new financing and business models which have been introduced to encourage better participation by the Dutch and Ghanaian private sector and NGOs.