The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has urged Indians to invest more in Ghana, especially in the manufacturing sector, to benefit from the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said although existing Indian companies in the country had contributed immensely to Ghana’s economy and also created jobs for the youth, India could still do more by taking advantage of the peaceful business environment in the country.
Mr Kyerematen was speaking at a reception to mark the 75 Independence anniversary of India at the India House in Accra last Monday.
Guests, including Members of Parliament, ministers of state, members of the Diplomatic Corps, the clergy, service commanders, chiefs and business executives, were served Indian cuisine, amidst a display of the culture of the people of India.
Mr Kyerematen said Indian investments, such as TATA, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra and Mahindra, Escorts, Larson & Toubro, NIIT, Shapoorji Pallonji, as well as pharmaceutical companies, had contributed to Ghana’s growth.
He said Ghana was one of the top three African recipients of India's lines of credit.
Additionally, India had been participating in Ghana's development through the provision of assistance for projects in the spirit of South-South cooperation as part of lines of credit or grants, he said.
The minister mentioned some of the projects as the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, the Jubilee House, the Pan African E-Network, rural electrification and the establishment of the Foreign Service Training Institute.
Others were the India Technical Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training programme, which builds participants’ capacity in innovation and technical skills, he added.
Mr Kyerematen acknowledged the efforts of the founding fathers of Ghana and India, whose vision led to the strong bond of friendship between the two countries.
In the 1950s, Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, struck a bond of friendship with Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister.
“Our two countries share a lot in common — our struggles for independence from colonial rule, our shared democratic values and our common challenges, to mention but a few. We cherish the longstanding friendship and cooperation between our two countries,” he added.
According to the minister, relations between Ghana and India had further been deepened and would continue to flourish with the recent third session of Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) and Joint Trade Commission (JTC) held between the two countries in July 2022.
That, he said, served as a platform for the sharing and exchange of ideas on pertinent issues of mutual benefit in the fields of politics, the economy, digitalisation, peace, security, health and capacity-building, as well as cooperation in business and human rights.
The second session of the FOCs, held in Accra in 2021, culminated in the signing of the inter-governmental agreement (IGA) between the two countries on the margins of the 65th Regular Session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna between September 20 - 24, 2021.
The Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Sugandh Rajaram, said “at 75, India still remains a trustworthy and dependable partner of our old and close friends like Ghana. We would like to deepen and strengthen the bond of love and friendship”.
He added that India remained a close friend of Ghana and partner, adding: “We are proud and excited to be celebrating our Independence anniversary with the lovely people of Ghana.”