The Ghana Investment Promotions Center (GIPC) organized an Interactive Business Forum to tell them the Ghana story.
“France believes in the vibrancy and maturity in Ghana’s democracy and its political stability; shares these values of freedom and plurality with Ghana,” French Ambassador to Ghana, François Pujolas, declared at the opening of the forum.
According to him, “France believes in the Ghanaian economy, its capacity to deal with bid-to-long term challenges and also prospects that this economy holds.”
On the future of the sub-region, the ambassador said France and Ghana wanted to see regional integration realized.
“France and Ghana share the same vision of a West Africa that is more integrated politically as well as economically. France wishes to be by the sides of Ghana to achieve this goal,” the ambassador stressed.
Vice-President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, urged the delegation to help increase economic and commercial cooperation between their two countries.
“I believe that French business people who are gathered here will continue to maintain an interest in Ghana because Mr. Ambassador has maintained our country has a reputation as great performer in the African economy,” he said.
Ghana, the Vice-President said, was very broad-minded, open-minded, and tolerant of different views, which has created a remarkable atmosphere of peace, stability and security for people in the country.
“We treasure our political and social stability and the freedom which it has created that allows people to express their views freely,” Amissah-Arthur stated.
Bilateral trade between the two countries tilts in Ghana’s favor as France imports more from Ghana than Ghana does from France.
In 2013, bilateral trade exceeded 1.5 billion dollars, with 1.2 billion dollars in export and 340 million dollars in import as France imports cocoa, fish and fruits from Ghana while the 340 million dollars of imports from France included mainly wheat, chemicals, some electronics and other equipment.
This however declined sharply in 2015, with export proceeds totaling only 650 million U.S. dollars and imports about 267 million dollars.
The Vice-President therefore remarked: “So we have some way to go now to restore the level of trade between our countries. In spite of the problems that we faced resulting from the prices of primary commodities and uncertainties in the global arena that are negating the work that has been done, a large number of French companies operate in Ghana.”
Like many countries, Amissah-Arthur said Ghana had faced economic challenges in recent years but decided to rise to the challenge and implement measures that consistently would develop a domestic economy.
“We developed an agenda; transform our economy, by encouraging value addition. This requires initially macro-economic stability, provision of infrastructure and support for inclusive growth,” he disclosed.
The delegation included the President of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mayor of Bordeaux, business people, academics and many other interested associations.
An exhibition was mounted to showcase both Ghanaian and French products. Enditem.