…as they mark 10 years of cooperation
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Swiss government have expressed commitment to further deepen and improve business and trade with Ghana.
Both UNIDO and the Swiss government, through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) have for the last ten years, been instrumental in the development of Trade Capacity Building (TCB) programmes in Ghana.
Ten years of trade cooperation
Speaking at the 10th anniversary celebration of the joint cooperation between the two entities and the Ghana government, Swiss Ambassador Markus Dutly said, “Switzerland’s support through the UNIDO TCB Programme for the past decade has made Ghana’s SME and private sector competitive in international markets.”
He noted that the past ten years between Ghana and SECO has highlighted numerous progress that had been achieved in key sectors.
“We believe in a more competitive broad-based private sector in order for Ghana to become a more prosperous economy. That’s what we have done in the past, and we hope to continue,” he said.
UNIDO Representative to Ghana and Liberia, Mr. Fakhruddin Azizi, affirmed UNIDO’s continuous support for enterprises in Ghana in efforts to offer competitive, safe, reliable and cost-effective products in world markets.
“For us at UNIDO, enabling enterprises to manufacture products with high-export potential in the quantities and at the level of quality required by the markets is evidence of our commitment to improving market conformity to relevant international standards, buyer, requirements, and technical requirements,” ,Mr. Azizi explained.
Deputy Minister of Industry, Mr. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, however indicated that Ghana needs to develop extra products for trade in order to consolidate its presence in the export market.
“Extra products simply means value added products that would deepen our trading ties with the international market. We have the raw materials, what we need to do is to develop extra products for export,” he indicated.
For the past ten years, a cooperation between UNIDO, SECO and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, through the TCB programme, has helped Ghana to lay foundation for a national quality infrastructure policy, in the development of standards for the wood, fish, fruit and the cocoa sectors.
Through the cooperation, institutions such as the Ghana Standards Authority, FDA, Forest Research Institute, Soil Research Institute, the Forestry Commission (Timber Industry Development Division) and COCOBOD, have increased capacity in various inspectorate and testing departments to institutionalize consumers’ protection and quality.
The TCB programme is an approach to develop a programmatic system to address a sustainable, quality and standards compliance challenges in SECO priority countries.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe