Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has invited Saudi industrial giants and large business groups to take advantage of Ghana’s investment-friendly climate and investment in the country.
She noted that Ghana as a peaceful and stable country offered a gateway to the entire West African market and beyond for the investment interests of Saudi Arabian industries and welcome opportunities to form mutually beneficial strategic alliances in that regard.
Madam Botchwey made the appeal when she met Dr Sami bin Abdullah Al-Obaidi, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) in Riyadh.
The meeting, formed part of her engagements, during an official visit to Riyadh at the invitation of her Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bins Farhan Al Saud.
Madam Botchwey, who is Ghana’s first Foreign Minister to pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said Ghana had over 60 per cent of arable lands for growing all kinds of food stuff.
She noted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had a policy of putting up a dam in the northern part of Ghana; where there were a lot of arable lands.
“So, I believe that the time is now for us to be able to work together to get your businesses to partner with our businesses. We can have a lot of export of fruits and vegetables (from Ghana) into Saudi Arabia and of course the export of fuel also (from Saudi Arabia) into the Ghanaian market.
“But what is more important for us is the manufacturing; that we will be able to get Saudi businesses that will come into Ghana and setup factories to be able to process these raw materials into finished products,” she noted.
She cited mining, agriculture, food and agro-processing, as areas of interest to Ghana.
The Minister said President Akufo-Addo would be paying a State visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from February 7 – 8.
She noted that Ghanaian business delegation and investment agencies would be accompanying the President during the visit, adding that this would give them the opportunity to meet their Saudi counterparts.
She said investing in Ghana by Saudi businesses would be a win-win situation for both nations.
“For us, this is the way that we want our good friends like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help us. There is a lot of profit to be derived in doing business in Africa, especially Ghana.
“Africa has its acts together. And Ghana will be that launch pad for Saudi Arabian businesses to invest in Ghana and by extension into the continent,” she said.
Madam Botchwey said African countries had establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as part of efforts to accelerate intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market.
She said the AfCFTA would bring together all 55 member states of the African Union covering a market of more than 1.2 billion people, including a growing middle class, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $3.4 trillion.
Dr Al-Obaidi on his part said the Minister’s visit to the Kingdom was of great significance to both countries because it would go a long way to strengthen their bilateral relations.
He said as part of efforts to strengthen the relations between Ghana and Saudi Arabia, there was the need to increase in economic trade.
Dr Al-Obaidi said the CSC; in collaboration with other Saudi businesses would be paying a visit to Ghana in the coming months to explore business opportunities.
At the meeting were Sheikh T.B Damba, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Mr Meshal Hamdan Al-Rogi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ghana.