…as Dubai’s bilateral trade with Ghana dips to US$1.2bn in 2017 from US$2.1bn in 2016
- increase in gold export kept the amount from further decline last year
- Ghana has an investment target of US$2.8bn in specific ventures
A government delegation from the United Arab Emirates is currently in Ghana on an official trade and investment mission, seeking to increase trade and investments from Ghana to that country.
The delegation expressed concerns that UAE’s bilateral trade with Ghana experienced a major dip last year. The UAE is currently ranked at 18th position for its global trade participation by WTO.
Bilateral trade figures with Ghana, according to that country’s Ministry of Economy, has seen rapid decline from US$2.1 billion in 2016 to US$1.2 billion last year, with gold export, touted as being responsible for keeping the amount from further decline.
The UAE stands as Ghana’s third export destination in all sectors, after India and China in that order, with exports, estimated at US$3.4 billion, mainly from cocoa and gold, from 2011 to 2016.
“That is why we are here today. We are here to explore opportunities for our investors while increasing our trade volumes with Ghana,” H.E Abdullah Saleh, Undersecretary for UAE’s Ministry of Economy, told the Goldstreet Business at an investment forum in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
He mentioned that both countries share a common synergy through the focus on natural resources which has become a catalyst for development.
The UAE, Saleh noted, has for a long time spanning 25 years, depended on oil and gas for its growth, with oil resources contributing about 85 percent to their economy’s GDP.
Ghana, likewise, had for a long period, depended on mining for its development, as the country’s minerals resources, particularly gold, is exported to that country.
UAE, has in recent years, invested heavily in tourism development, with the move significantly propelling Dubai into a major tourism hub in the Arabian Peninsula.
Tourism and hospitality contributes 12 percent to the UAE’s GDP.
Saleh however said, “we have diversity of sectors including logistics, tourism and hospitality, transportation, industry, energy, port operations, food processing, agriculture and agribusiness, ICT, healthcare and many more that seek to invest here.”
Explaining further, he said, government’s flagship initiative, the ‘One District, One Factory’ (1D1F), programme, is what is currently attractive to the UAE.
“We don’t want to focus on one or two sectors only, our government has the desire to diversify our investments and trade here, and the ‘1D1F’ is very attractive to us and we want to be partners,” he said.
The UAE being recognized as the third largest hub for exports by the WTO, is similarly willing to offer its logistics, infrastructure and market access to Ghanaian businesses and investors.
Deputy Director of Investor Services at the GIPC, Evelyn Nyarko, said there are numerous investment prospects for foreign businesses and individuals who are willing to do business in Ghana.
“The country currently has an investment target of US$2.8 billion. Ghana seeks to invest about US$100-200 million as stimulus package for specific industries, US$500m – US$1billion in 1D1F, between US$100-300 million in industrial parks and US$100-300million in SME development,” she said.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe