Ghana-Rwanda Business Forum underway in Accra

A two-day Ghana-Rwanda Business Forum to explore partnership and business opportunities for both countries, is underway in Accra.

The Forum is in line with the objectives of strengthening economic and trade relations between the two countries, and is expected to offer an opportunity for actors from both the public and private sectors to engage and identify ways to harness identified potentials.

The event is being organised by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in partnership with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre(GIPC).

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa who opened the forum yesterday, said to achieve commercially meaningful trade between African countries, leaders should guide the private sector to intensify trade and investment.

He said African leaders must industrialise to reduce reliance on imports, and build strategic and sustainable value chains

Mr Krapa emphasised on the need to recognise the severity of the challenges and the enormity of the task ahead in order to re-model trade and investment policies, adding that “we must do so with the active involvement of the private sector.”

“Each day, everything we do we must have the private sector in our contemplation, because that is the only way to make them competitive.  The issues of competitive financing, power, standards, customs, infrastructure and incentives must occupy our minds when policy makers sit around decision-making tables across the continent,” he stated.

Mr Krapa said the government over the years had put measure in place to empower the private sector to grow, ‘because when the private sector grows, the economy grows.

“We continue to provide stimulus to economically viable but financially distressed companies through the National Industrial Revitalisation Programme,”

“We are giving SMEs the needed support to grow their businesses and continue to link such SMEs to large companies through the Industrial Subcontracting and Exchange Programme,” he said

Mr Krapa said his outfit would continue to pave way for the private sector closer to Government through the public–private dialogue series and empower Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of regional and European export markets through the National Export Development Strategy.

“We must equip the private sector with capacity to make them competitive, and between us, Ghana and Rwanda, we must work towards harmonising all our trade and investment policies, to make doing business easier for the private sector,” he said.

Mr Krapa said the National Export Development Strategy offered us a blueprint to penetrate new markets through goods and services, and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s (GIPC)unrelenting efforts, whether in normal or difficult times, remained evident in increasing levels of Foreign Direct Investment annually.

He urged both countries totake advantage of the Cooperation Agreements between them to engineer conducive operating environments for the private sector to thrive, and “we must do so within the broader regional perspective.”

“We must explore areas of potential collaboration between our business people, and we must continue to share and learn from each other’s experiences.

“We must be bold to concede our challenges and utilise political structures to expedite the resolution of such barriers. Government’s business is not to do business but to make it possible and profitable for the private sector to do business,” he said.

He was optimistic that the forum would create mutual benefits for all and provide an outstanding opportunity for investors to engage and negotiate deals.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda, Dr JeanChrysostomeNgabitsinze, said Africa should explore areas of potential collaboration between businesses, adding that Ghana had the potential partner in terms of trade.

He said African leaders must produce more in order to withstand external shocks such as the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war which had affected businesses negatively.


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