HFC Bank, a member of Republic Bank Holdings Limited (RBHL) of Trinidad and Tobago, on Monday evening hosted the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency, Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley, to a cocktail as part of his 4 day official visit to the country.
The cocktail was also attended by His Excellency the Vice-President of Ghana, K.B. Amissah-Arthur, as well as members of the high-powered delegation that is accompanying Prime Minister Rowley on his official visit. Ghana Government officials, the Diplomatic Community, Representatives of the private sector in Ghana, Trinidadian nationals in Ghana and HFC Bank stakeholders also graced the occasion.
The visit was to reinforce the close historical ties that have existed between the two countries and to encourage more business partnerships and opportunities among Ghanaian and Trinidad and Tobago companies.
His Excellency Dr. Rowley, who was visiting Ghana for the first time had already met with His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama to discuss issues of mutual benefit to the two countries.
The Managing Director of HFC Bank, Mr. Robert Le Hunte, said there are too strong similarities between Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago which gives indications that the two countries are virtually one people.
“Republic Bank’s Association with HFC Bank has helped project Trinidad and Tobago in Ghana. We would like to be a bridge through which solid long-term business linkages are developed between our two countries. We have no doubt that this historic visit of His Excellency Dr. Rowley will deepen the ties that have existed between the two countries.”
On behalf of HFC Bank Board and management, Mr Le Hunte wished the Prime Minister a fruitful visit to Ghana
Mr. Nigel Baptiste, Managing Director of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, said the goal of Republic Bank is always to add value to the local context in which it is operating.
“One of the other areas in which Republic Bank hopes to make a difference in Ghana is in the oil and gas sector. Based on our experience back home, we believe we can help accelerate the development of the industry in Ghana and, in particular, provide financing to local companies so as to make local content as meaningful in Ghana as it has been in the T&T oil and gas industry, he said.
Mr. Baptiste said “We see opportunities to facilitate linkages between companies in the oil and gas sector in Trinidad & Tobago and Ghanaian companies”
His Excellency the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago also underlined the commitment of his government to closer political and economic ties with countries in Africa. Among potential areas of co-operation, he indicated that Trinidad and Tobago had had over a hundred years of oil and gas production and had been particularly successful in giving value to their natural gas resources. “Our experience with utilizing gas both for power generation and for the development of a petrochemical industry as well as exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) could be of interest to countries in Africa and we are keen to share our experience in oil and gas with our brothers in Africa.”
He observed that it was not surprising that Ghana should be the first country he should be visiting on the African continent. “Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, CL James, George Padmore and Dr. Eric Williams, who through their various works and fight for the freedom of the African, have left our countries with important legacies that we must advance. The work these great men started has pre-ordained this collaboration; together, we can advance faster and more effectively” he stated.
His Excellency the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, K.B. Amissah-Arthur emphasised the vital lessons and experiences that Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago could share in various sectors including petroleum activities and gas infrastructure. He further remarked that “Ghana is strongly encouraging joint venture businesses with foreign counterparts as well as promoting public private partnership”.
Ghana- Trinidad and Tobago relations are reflected in the fact that the chair on which the Speaker of Parliament for Trinidad and Tobago sits to conduct business was donated by Dr Kwame Nkrumah on behalf of the people of Ghana to Trinidad and Tobago on their attainment of independence in 1962.
Proceedings were concluded with the Honorary Consul for Trinidad and Tobago in Ghana, Dr. Hilton John Mitchell proposing a toast to the continued collaboration between the two countries.
Republic Bank, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago acquired a majority shareholding in HFC Bank in May 2015.