Interactive Session on Business Opportunities in 1D1F Ghana

  • November 10, 2017

New Delhi, India, November 10, 2017/- An interactive session on business opportunities in the ambitious industrialization program of ‘One District, One Factory’ was held in the Ghana High Commission in India to give impetus to the trade relations between Ghana and India.

The session was held under the coordination of His Excellency Mr. Michael Aaron Nii Nortey Oquaye, High Commissioner of Ghana to India.

On the occasion, he said, “The story of Ghana is simple. We want to industrialize and we want to export. We feel the best (way) to industrialize is to start from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and then in the long run, expand to the large scale industries. Because it is the SMEs that really make the nation. The President of Ghana (H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo) is very keen on going along that route.”

Highlighting the importance of finance to the Indian business community who attended the session, the High Commissioner further said that there has to be a financial package and in order to provide a holistic approach, Ghana had two important financial representatives – the EXIM Bank and the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).

“The Bank of Ghana deals with finances, while the GCB deals with trade. If all of you come to Ghana to put your money into the projects, one of the best and safest places to keep your money is GCB. Because in a way, it is like a sovereign guarantee. If there is any problem in GCB, the Bank of Ghana will put more money in there.”

Some of the biggest projects in Ghana have been executed by the EXIM Bank, which is the Export-Import Bank. “This will help the nation to move on the trajectory of increased exports,” he added.

Ghana has been a very indigenous nation in the past. In fact, when it comes to entrepreneurship and industrialization, the nation was one of the foremost – manufacturing furniture, canned food and tobacco.

Unfortunately, there was a time when the military tried to weaken the entrepreneurs; their businesses were thus left crippled.

Ghana then moved towards trade and services. The High Commissioner said, “However, no matter how much we were growing, we were focussed more on importing and not on exporting. Hence, we were always looking for foreign exchange, that we sent abroad to buy things. This reduced the demand for our currency while increased the demand for the dollar. Since supply chases the demand, our money started losing its value, no matter the (amount of) progress we made. Hence, there was a stagnant financial situation, because the liquidity was not fluid, which led to stagflation, hurting the core of the economy. The President of Ghana has vowed to address this issue.”

Highlighting how Ghana began ‘Operation Feed Yourself’ in the early 1970s, similar to the Agricultural Revolution in India, the High Commissioner remarked that the two nations have the potential to always work together to do better things. “India is one of the greatest nations of the world because you have pursued a constant agenda of industrialization and we always want to learn from you,” he said.

The session was attended by a cohort of the Indian businessmen including Kirit Sobti from Indocorp, Rohit Khattar from K.S. Infosystems, Narsimha Hegde, Ashok Leyland, Vijay Sardana, UPL Limited, Surinder Makhija, from Jain Irrigation, Pramod, International Tractors Limited, Tarun Sharma from Mahindra & Mahindra, Sumant Khanna, Escorts, Manu Sharma from Shakti Pumps and Priyank Samuel from the National Seed Association of India.

Sheila Sudhakaran, Advisor, Africa Division, of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Susnato Sen, Head of Africa division, FICCI were the facilitators of the event.

A high-profile team from Ghana including representatives of the Ghana Commercial Bank and the EXIM Bank informed about their programmes and what they wanted to do for the businessmen to help assist the projects of the Indian business community.

Evans, Head of Business Development, Ghana EXIM Bank, George Fuachie, Head of Corporate Banking, GCB Bank Limited, Dorris, In-charge of corporate banking, GCB, Anselm Ransford Sowah, CEO of GCB and Peter Kwame Abebrese, EXIM Bank comprised the Ghana delegation.

Gifty Ohene Konadu, Chief Executive Officer, One District One Factory initiative, who was the chief guest of the session said that she “was overwhelmed by the welcome she received by the Indian business community.”

Issues ranging from soil preparation to harvesting and post-harvest technology, to construction and irrigation, skill training centres, logistics, mechanisation of agriculture, mining, organic farming, to funding and sustenance of projects were  discussed at the event.

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