Papa Owusu Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK and the Republic of Ireland has stressed the need to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations between Ghana and Scotland.
He said Ghana’s strong democratic credentials, good governance, stable legal regime and high return on investments provided a competitive economic environment for the country to serve as the Gateway for Scottish Businesses in the West Africa sub-region.
He made the statement during a working visit to Scotland on October 19-21 October. The visit formed part of Government of Ghana’s drive to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
Interacting with the Rt. Hon. Frank Ross, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt.Hon. Philip Braat, Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow and Councillor David McDonald, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, Papa Ankomah reiterated the long historical relationship between the two countries and emphasised the need for enhanced investment partnership relations that extended beyond Aid.
He noted that in spite of its relatively small population, Scotland had made great strides in the fields of Education, Digital Economy, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, IT, Space Technology, Business Innovation, Creative Arts, among others, which could serve as development pathways for Ghana’s economic advancement.
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow and Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, in their responses welcomed the partnership overtures from the High Commissioner and indicated their preparedness to use their offices to build and encourage strong trade and investment partnerships between the two countries.
Discussions were also held with Scottish Enterprise; Scotland’s main economic development agency, Challenges Worldwide – a Scottish International Development Charity, supporting growth of Small & Medium Size Businesses in developing economies including Ghana, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and Scotland Chamber of Commerce.
In discussions with the Scotland Rural College, Sustainable Business School of the Edinburgh University and Strathclyde University, the High Commissioner emphasised Ghana’s desire to have an exchange programme of students and faculty from Ghanaian Universities with Scottish Universities, particularly for split post-graduate programmes. This proposal was also well-received by the Universities.
At the end of the visit, an understanding was reached for the hosting of a Business Summit in Scotland in 2018, to concretize partnership arrangements between Ghanaian and Scottish business interests and higher educational institutions.
At a well-attended durbar, organised as part of the visit, Papa Owusu Ankomah interacted and addressed Ghanaians and others of Ghanaian descent and affiliations resident in Scotland. The theme of the visit – ‘Ghana: Development beyond Aid’ – was re-echoed in the High Commissioners’ address to the gathering.
In his address, he acknowledged the contributions of the Diaspora community to Ghana’s development and highlighted the exemplary achievements of the Ghanaian Diaspora in various fields of endeavour.
The durbar also provided the opportunity for him to highlight current Government policies and initiatives with particular reference to implementation of the Free Senior High Secondary School programme, paperless clearance of goods from the ports, Ghana Card, National Digital Address System, and e-registration of companies.
Accompanying the High Commissioner were George Blankson, Head of Consular and Welfare, William Osafo, Head of Education, Joyce Asamoah-Koranteng, Head of Political & Economic Affairs and Kofi Addo, Head of Trade & Investment, all at the Ghana’s High Commission in the UK, as well as Dr. Charles Aryiku, Honorary Consul to Scotland.