Even though the balance of trade between Ghana and France has been favorable to Ghana over the years, trade between the two countries continues to decline.
This was revealed by Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on the occasion of welcoming a Bordeaux trade delegation to Ghana, which was held in Accra last Tuesday.
According to the Vice President, France is the only developed country that Ghana has consistently had a favourable trade balance over.
However, trade between both countries has consistently declined in the past few years.
This, Mr. Amissah-Arthur said, calls for more attention in order to drive economic growth in the country.
“In the year 2013 bilateral trade exceeded US$1.5billion, consisting of US$1.2billion exports and US$300million imports.
The exports were mainly of fish and fruit. However, in 2012 trade declined. Export earnings were just in excess of US$1billion while imports were a mere US$270million.
“In 2015 the decline was even more dramatic. Exports proceeds fell to US$650million and imports was US$267million.
So the figures show that we have some way to go in order to restore the level of trade between our two countries,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said.
He however stated that French equity investments in the country has seen continuous growth over the years as it increased from US$148million in 2008 to US$290million in 2013.
The Vice President was however upbeat that establishing the French chamber of commerce and industry will restore good trade relations between the two countries.
“Recognising the importance of trade between these two countries, the Ambassador of France to Ghana invited me to join him in inaugurating the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the vision of facilitating trade and enhancing financial and investment relations between the two countries.
“I hope that the chamber will increase French investments in Ghana and support Ghanaian and French businesses to set up operations in each other’s country,” he said.
As part of efforts to deepen trade between the two countries the Mayor of the city of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe, has signed a pact with the Mayor of Tamale, Abdul-Rahman Hanan Gundadow, in Bordeaux last year to promote cooperation between the two cities.
“The initiative started when the Mayor of Tamale visited the Mayor of Bordeaux to sign a memorandum of understanding for the two cities to cooperate at the municipal, academic and business levels.
“The idea is really that Tamale is in a very central position and serves as a hub city and a bridge between Anglophone and Francophone countries, and therefore this is a chance to develop the city and attract investors of both languages to the city,” said Johanna Svaniker, Ghana’s Ambassador to France.
French-registered companies in Ghana number over one hundred. Total French investments peaked in 2014 when nine registered French companies accounted for US$70.2million worth of investments.
Source: B&FT Online