By Adu Koranteng
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has arrived in India for a working visit. As part of the visit, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey will meet with Indian business community members and share with them opportunities in the Ghanaian economy.
The business seminar dubbed, “Ghana the land of golden opportunities” will zero in on the government’s flagship program, the one district one factory. Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said trade between Ghana and India is growing exponentially and there is the need to ensure that it will continue to improve the wellbeing of citizens of both countries.
High on the minister’s itinerary is her meeting with her Indian minister of External Affairs, Madam Sushma Swaraj.
Ghana-India trade volumes hit 3.6 billion dollar mark in 2017 but Ghana’s high commissioner to India, Mr Mike Ocquaye junior is upbeat the figure will jump to 5 billion dollars by 2020. Data from the Ghana investment promotion Centre, GIPC indicates that in 2017 India became the second largest investor in Ghana’s economy that is in terms of numbers with 800 investment after China.
With regard to volumes it’s the 9th largest investor in Ghana with China sitting at the top of the investment league in Ghana. Ties between Ghana and India dates back in colonial days but was deepened after independence in 1957 with President Nkrumah and Prime Minister Nehru leading the Non- Aligned Movement, NAM. Since then almost every democratically elected leader of Ghana had visited India with Dr kwame Nkrumah in 1961, president Rawlings in 1998, president Kufuor in 2004, president Mahama in 2014 and president Akufo -Addo in march 2018.
President Akufo Addo attended the International Solar Alliance,( ISA) conference and he ratified the ISA framework agreement which seeks to scale up solar energy investment in developing countries. The jubilee house presidential project was financed by India at a cost of 139 million dollars and in early this year, the Indian government donated one million dollars towards the renovation of the presidential palace. On the infrastructure front, the Indian Exim Bank has injected 398.33 million dollars into the design and construction of the railway line Tema-Akosombo. AFCON, an Indian company won the 84 – kilometer railway project. The 34-million dollar Komenda sugar factory project was also financed by Exim Bank of India. In October 2016 an India firm signed 1.2 billion dollars agreement to produce fertilizer in the western region. Ghana exports cashew nuts, scrap metal, cocoa beans and wood to India while India exports pharmaceutical products, automobiles, ICT products, rice and sugar among others. The trade balance is in favor of India. Airtel, Tata, Mahindra motors, Melcom, Bank of Baroda, are some of the Indian firms operating in Ghana.