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Norway and Ghana have held a bilateral business trade forum to deepen the investment opportunities to enhance agriculture in Ghana.
The main idea of the forum is to expand the Norwegian financial institution, Norfund, through the agriculture sector and to build a pipeline of bankable projects in the agribusiness value chain.
In a keynote address Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said, in order for Ghana to attract the right level of literary beneficiary investment and trade, the local investment sector must develop sound business trends.
“This has been the major preoccupation of the President since he attained office” he stated.
The Vice President further claimed, the fundamental objective in government, is to restore the macroeconomic stability to levels that would improve the overall business environment and strike the balance between physical consolidation and growth.
“The right balance requires making credible quality choices that would create fiscal space to implement growth and enhance initiatives,” he added.
He said, government has recorded some significant successes in the first year of governance.
“Government has managed to secure significant improvements in the trends of key macroeconomic indicators such as inflation, real GDP growth rates, amongst others”.
Dr Bawumia hinted that, interest rates and mortgage rates are declining due to Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio which has declined significantly to 17 per cent and the reduction of the physical deficit from 9.4 per cent to about 5.6 per cent of GDP.
“As we lay a solid macroeconomic foundation for businesses for the private sector to grow, we have not lost sight of the key strategic elements that hold the greatest potential to anchor the investment you desire,” he noted, while indicating that cabinet has approved the Right to Information bill (RTI) to be laid in parliament for consideration and approval.
He said, the Bill when passed into law would serve as a link to curb corruption in the system.
The Norwegian Minister for International Development, Mr Nikolai Astrup, said Ghana has become a key partner for Norway, politically and commercially.
This, he said, made His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo and Prime Minister Erna Solberg, co-chair of the United Nations Advocacy Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to generate global commitment to the sustainable goals by 2030
“Among the ten African countries in this initiative, Norway is proud to be a dedicated partner for Ghana,” he said.
He lauded Ghana for being the first country to kick off the implementation of Stage 1 of the initiative- and has presented the required country diagnostic studies.
“We are really looking forward to following the outcomes of your efforts to move “Ghana beyond aid”.
He also hinted that, openness to trade is vital for business expansion, growth and improved living standards,
“Trade is a necessary component of the entire value chain.
“Both developed as well as developing countries benefit from open, predictable and enforceable trade rules, under the auspices of the World Trade Organization,” he noted.
The occasion marked the official opening of Norfund’s regional office for West Africa in Accra.
Norfund is the Norwegian development finance institution and has investments of USD 2.5 billion in more than 750 companies. 50% of Norfund’s portfolio is invested in Africa.
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey