Ghana has called for stronger bilateral partnerships and investments towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially poverty reduction, which is the first SDG.
Mr. Yofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), made this call during an Economic Counsellors Dialogue in Accra, on Thursday.
Speaking on the theme: “Promoting bilateral investment: Igniting growth and strengthening economic partnerships,” Mr Grant said it had become necessary for partnership and investments in projects that would accelerate poverty reduction.
“Our focus going forward is to leverage on the SDGs, particularly, SDG one. So, we’re looking at projects that will accelerate poverty reduction and investment for trade through formidable partnerships,” the GIPC CEO said.
He called for investments into government’s projects and programmes, including the Free Senior High School (Free SHS), and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), which were aimed at poverty alleviation.
He said the government was making structural reforms to add value to its natural resources for increased export and facilitate productivity and growth of both local and foreign businesses in the country.
“We’re going to have a clear focus on manufacturing and export. Ghana is resource rich – we have gold, diamond, bauxite, iron ore, lithium, and manganese, but we’ve erstwhile been exporting it in its raw form,” he said.
“The goal now is to ensure that we add value and move up the value chain from our export, and strengthen the delivery of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), where the government would step in to de-risk and give certain comfort to the investor and business partner,” he added.
Mr. Grant urged investors to push their resources in Ghana’s agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, education, health and creative art sectors, where enormous opportunities existed.
Mr. Maher Kheir, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Lebanon to Ghana, explained that forming stronger partnerships were critical in increasing their trade flows, leading to economic expansion and sustainable growth.
Mr Kheir urged Economic Counsellors in Ghana to advocate agreements that would help reduce trade tariffs, expand market access, and stimulate economic activities for mutual benefits.
A panel, comprising members of the investing community and diplomatic missions called for enhancement in bilateral and multilateral agreements by removing tariffs and quotas to enhance market access and facilitate the flow of goods and services.
They asked the government to revitalise partnerships to drive investment in robust transportation networks, labour acquisition of innovative technical skills, and reliable connectivity for economic integration.
That, they said, would be critical to drive the attainment of the SDGs and drive more Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) into the country.
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