Ghana will leverage on its strong bilateral relations with Switzerland to attract Swiss investors for the pharmaceutical industry.
It is also working to make Switzerland a destination for products manufactured in Ghana under the Industrial Transformation Programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to deliver on the President’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister for Trade and Industry, said this when Mr Philipp Stalder, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana called on him in Accra.
He said although diplomatic relations were formally established after Ghana gained independence in 1957, relations between Ghana and Switzerland dated back to 1828, when Swiss missionaries settled in the Gold Coast.
The Minister said successive governments of the two countries had maintained cordial bilateral relations, enabling them to strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment and development assistance.
"The two countries also share common membership in multilateral organisations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization," he added.
Primary goods such as Gold, Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Paste and Tropical Fruits dominate Ghana’s exports to Switzerland, whilst imports from Switzerland to Ghana include: Packaged Medicaments, Wheat, Large Construction Vehicles, and Scented Mixtures.
Mr Kyerematen said the total value of bilateral trade over a decade (2010 to 2019) was estimated at $26.5 billion, with Ghana recording trade surpluses in all the years with the highest trade surplus of $4.8 billion in 2019.
He said the Swiss Government supported the implementation of Ghana’s Trade Policy and Trade Sector Support Programme to date, by providing development funding and technical assistance to Ghana in the areas of Intellectual Property Rights and Quality Standards.
"Notably, the Swiss Government support, implemented through the Ministry, under the Swiss-Ghana Intellectual Property Project at the cost of CHF1.4 million, has enabled Ghana to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for Intellectual Property administration and enforcement," he added.
Other support for the government are training of 237 officials from GRA Customs and from selected Security Agencies on the enforcement of IP rights and the promotion of the effective use of Intellectual Property by producers and citizens.
Mr Kyerematen said in August 2019, the implementation of Global Quality and Standards Programme commenced in Ghana, with funding from the Swiss Government at the cost of €1.16 million.
He said that enabled Small Medium Enterprises to strengthen product quality and standards, particularly in the Oil Palm, Cashew and Cocoa export value chains.