Trade volumes between Ghana and India rose from US$550 million by the end of 2011 to US$818 million by the end of 2012 and is currently over US$1 billion, the Interior Minister, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, has announced.
He said the trade was predominantly in such areas as steel, cement, plastics,pharmaceuticals, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), agro-processing and agricultural machinery; electrical equipment and chemical solutions.
Mr Woyongo said this in his address as the leader of the government’s delegation to the 66th anniversary celebrations of India’s Republic Day in Accra.
Ghana appreciates India
He told the guests, including members of the Council of State, ministers, Members of Parliament and the diplomatic corps, that Ghana appreciated the considerable financial and material support India had extended to the government over the years to promote the country’s socio-economic development.
Mr Woyongo specifically mentioned two lines of credit to the tune of US$30 million and US$150 million that India had given Ghana for the rehabilitation and upgrading of a potable water Project in the Yendi catchment area and the strengthening of the Agriculture Mechanisation Centre project respectively.
The Minister of the Interior was happy that President John Dramani Mahama last year performed the sod-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of work on the Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central Region. The project was made possible through an Indian credit facility of US$35 million.
He stressed that India continued to provide considerable assistance to Ghana through various bilateral and multilateral programmes, including the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and the Special Commonwealth African Assistance Plan (SCAAP).
Under the programmes, he said, emphasis was placed on human resource development in areas including entrepreneurship development and tool designing, food processing and biotechnology.
Mr Woyongo congratulated Indians and said, “relations between Ghana and India have, over the years, been mutually beneficial and we are determined to deepen these relations in the years ahead.”
Ghana poised for great leap
Earlier in his address, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jeeva Sagar, said, “Ghana, is poised for a great leap under the dynamic leadership of President Mahama.”
The High Commissioner noted that when he read the economic challenges the Ghanaian newspapers talked about, he was reminded of a similar phase in India’s developmental history.
“Ghana, the resourceful nation that it is, in my view, is passing through this stage of its developmental history; but before long, we are going to witness her in her full bloom,” he assured.
He also said when an Indian investor explained to him that the land zone his company had developed in Prampram had been attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) not just from India, but from other countries, it gladdened his heart.
“More relevant and satisfying for us than the US$800 million Indian companies have invested in Ghana is the number of jobs they have created in Ghana and the amount of value added,” he stated.