Ghana’s trade in goods and services with India reached US$3.4billion in 2017, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The figure represents an export value of US$2.76 billion and imports totalling US$638.3 million.
Major trading products which consist of minerals, pharmaceutical products, machinery, cereals, electrical and electronics, aluminum, articles, rubber and cotton were the major commodities traded between the two countries.
Addressing the Ghana-India PHD Chamber of Commerce meeting on September 18 in Accra, the President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, underscored the need for both countries to strengthen their bilateral trade.
“Although the available data shows a favourable trade balance for Ghana, much of the economic potentials that both countries can offer for our mutual economic benefits still remain untapped,” he said.
He explained that there were myriad of investment opportunities in Ghana which cut across all areas of the economy.
The opportunities, he said, consisted of, but not limited to, infrastructure, timber and wood, ceramics, automobile ancillary, health and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and agro-processing, renewable energy generation, mines and minerals, engineering and manufacturing.
According to him, the forum would enable businessmen and women of both countries to participate in a business to business (B2B) session and explore possible areas of collaboration.
“I am of the strong conviction that this business forum will serve as a unique platform for business men and women of the respective countries to interact, share ideas and establish business relationships.
“It is our fervent hope that this business forum will further strengthen the strategic trade partnership between Ghana and India, bringing economic and social benefits by creating new opportunities for trade, investment and employment,” he noted.
Nana Dankawoso maintained that the country was open for business and it was seeking cooperation and partnership with strategic partners to promote private sector growth under Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.
“The GNCCI is ever committed to assist in the development of any trade and investment requirement between the respective countries,” he added.
Use Ghana as gateway
Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, Mike Ocquaye Junior, described Ghana as an important gateway to the wider West and sub-Saharan African market place for business.
He asked the Indian businesses at the meeting to use Ghana as a gateway to expand their reach to more than 1.3 billion consumers in the African continent.
“Ghana stood out as a beacon for safe investment in the sub-Saharan Africa because of its strong GDP growth forecast and stable political environment conducive for business.
“Ghana is one of the key business hubs within the West African sub-region and beyond and a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). This avenue gives India investors access to a large market of more than 1.3 billion people in Africa.”
Confidence in the economy
The leader of the Indian delegation, Mr Ranjeet Chaturvedi, stated that the stable political climate had inspired a lot of confidence in the economy among Indian investors.
“I think Indian investors have confidence in the economy because of the maturity of Ghana’s democracy which is acknowledged and respected not only in West Africa but the entire Africa.”