Swiss govt assists Ghana with US$80 million to add value to cocoa

13th July 2017

Prez Akufo-Addo interactswith SwissPrez Leuthard.fw

Ghana and Switzerland have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at increasing cocoa production and adding value to raw cocoa beans.

The two countries have also agreed to increase their volume of trade in the areas of gold and cocoa from Ghana and chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other products from Switzerland.

Also, a new Swiss co-operation strategy for Ghana, which involves US$80 million to support the enhanced competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises and the diversification of the economy, was signed by the leaders of the two countries.

The MoU was signed when the President of Switzerland, Ms Doris Leuthard, called on President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday, 12th July 2017

Later, the two leaders retired to a closed-door session where issues such as Ghana’s position as one of the Swiss Confederation's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) priority countries for economic development were discussed.

Trade partner

Ghana is currently Switzerland's largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, trade between the two countries amounted to over US$2 billion.

After signing the MoU, the two Presidents jointly addressed a press conference.

President Akufo-Addo said the government would pursue programmes aimed at adding value to the country's cocoa beans.

"Ghana, under my Presidency, will no longer become mere producers and exporters of cocoa beans. We will process more and more of our cocoa here in our country. There can be no future prosperity for our people in the short, medium or long term if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials.

“We intend to add value to our raw material resources, industrialize and enhance agricultural productivity. This is the only way we can put Ghana at the high end of the value chain in the global market space and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians," he said.

Exploring more opportunities

The President said Ghana and Switzerland had agreed to explore opportunities to boost the volume of trade between the two countries.

"We discussed the need to explore further business opportunities for the two countries, as well as boost the volumes of trade," he said.

He observed, with satisfaction, the improvement in trade figures between the two countries over the last couple of years, adding that trade ought to go beyond gold and cocoa which had, over several decades, constituted the backbone of trading relations between the two countries.

President Akufo-Addo said they discussed and agreed on the need for Ghana to become a member of the Human Rights Appeal Caucus.

Swiss businesses in Ghana

The Swiss Confederation President; Ms. Doris Leuthard said there were Swiss businesses in Ghana operating in the areas of energy, pharmaceuticals, logistics, finance and chocolate production, adding that Switzerland had identified Ghana's agricultural sector as a viable area of investment.

The two leaders acknowledged that the issue of migration and mobility had gripped the attention of the world in recent years and decided to co-operate further in ensuring legal and safer means of migration.

 

Source: Victor Kwawukume | Graphiconline.com

http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/swiss-govt-assists-ghana-with-us-80-million-to-add-value-to-cocoa.html

Picture credit: Graphiconline.com