Kerela, [India] : To enhance India-Ghana bilateral trade and investment opportunities, Ghana High Commission inaugurated the Ghana Trade Centre in Bengaluru under the India Africa Trade Council for promoting trade & Investment Opportunities. South Indian companies can take advantage of opportunities in rural development, agriculture technologies, agriculture cultivation, irrigation, agro-processing, sanitation and renewable energy projects in Ghana, Mr. Sebastian Beliwine said while addressing the program which was jointly inaugurated by KC Rammurthy Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha, Ernest Nana Adjei, Minister Counsellor, Political and Economic from High Commission, Mr. Basavarajendra IAS, Commissioner of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences, N.S. Venkatesh from the Development Partnership, Rao Munukutla, CEO of Bangalore Airport Corporation Limited and Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of the Indian Economic Trade Organization (IETO). Mr. Ramesh. K.R, an industrialist was given the letter of appointment from India Africa Trade Council to manage the Ghana Trade office in Bengaluru.

“The Republic of Ghana is the headquarter of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and can serve as a gateway to the 1.2 billion-strong African population having a combined GDP of USD 3.4 trillion”, said Dr. Asif Iqbal President of the Indian Economic Trade Organization at the summit. Accra is the headquarters of the AfCFTA. The FTA has 1.2 billion consumers and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.

Mr. Rammurthy recalled his experience during his visit to Ghana and remarked that “India is one of the largest foreign investors in Ghana in terms of projects. Indian banks are present there supporting the Trade community and Delhi Public School(DPS) has a presence in Ghana. Bilateral trade has also jumped 48% over the last two years. India can help Ghana become a manufacturing hub and explore its linkages with the African market.

Mr. Ramesh.K.R said that the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2019 remarked Ghana as the best place for doing business in West Africa. Karnataka companies can explore investment opportunities in sectors such as gold, bauxite and iron ore mining, agro-processing, healthcare and other sectors.

Harsh Vardhan IRS, GST Commissioner from Bangalore remarked that India is among the top three exporters of textile products to Ghana. Further, Indian companies can supply raw materials and transfer knowledge to Ghana businesses in the pharmaceutical sector.

The inaugural session was attended by representatives from trade and industry, consular corps, academicians, MSMEs. A special edition of India-Ghana Relations was released by the Plenipotentiary Diplomatist at the event.

“African Continental Free Trade Area, which came to force this year, has made Africa the world’s largest free trade area… India views this development as yet another opportunity to boost trade and economic ties with Africa” said Mr. N.S. Venkatesh is the head of the Development Partnership Programs of the Indian Economic Trade Organization.

“India’s partnership with Africa is based on a model of cooperation which is responsive to the needs of African countries. It is demand-driven and free of conditionalities. It is based on our history of friendship, historical ties, and a sense of deep solidarity. Ghana Desk in Bangalore will help with all support related to delegation visits to the country after the pandemic and the High commission will support these mechanisms to enable partnerships” said Mr. Ernest Nana Adjei from the Ghana High Commission.

Ghana imports automobiles and buses from India and companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have a significant presence in the country. Ghanaian exports to India consist of gold, cocoa and timber while Indian exports to Ghana comprise pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, plastics, steel and cement. The Government of India has extended $228 million in lines of credit to Ghana which has been used for projects in sectors like agro-processing, fish processing, waste management, rural electrification and the expansion of Ghana’s railways.

India has also offered to set up an India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT) and a Food Processing Business Incubation Centre in Ghana. Bank of Baroda, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Tech Mahindra are amongst the major Indian companies in Ghana.