International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, an agency under the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, has taken a significant step to engage the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the opening of its first overseas centre in the sub-region on July 23, 2013.
The center, which would be based in Accra aims to catalyze strategic trade and investment initiatives between Singapore, Ghana and the ECOWAS countries.
IE Singapore is a government agency promoting the growth of Singapore's overseas investments and trade. With a global network in over 35 locations, it facilitates investments by Singapore companies into developed and emerging markets across a range of industries and growth sectors. These include urban solutions (urban planning, waste and water management), transport and logistics (management of ports and airports), infocomm technology (telecommunications and e-government), manufacturing as well as business services such as healthcare and education.
IE Singapore also develops and promotes international trade, working with global commodities traders to establish their global or Asian home base in Singapore. In Asia, Singapore is a leading commodities trading hub in energy, agri-commodities and metals & minerals.
"As the ECOWAS embarks on a path of swift socio-economic development, its countries will require partners that bring meaningful investments. Having gone through a similar development path, Singapore is well-placed to share our experience with the region," said IE Singapore's Center Director in Accra, Mr. Ian Lee.
IE Singapore will also support companies in the ECOWAS venturing into Asia, using Singapore as a base for their regional operations. Singapore is strategically located in the heart of Asia and has well-connected infrastructure to the region.
Trade between Singapore and Ghana has been on the uptrend, increasing six-fold to reach S$1.16 billion in 2012.
"Supported by the sub-region's growth, we see an opportunity for Ghana and Singapore to deepen our already positive trade and investment links. Singapore companies are reliable, long-term business partners that can participate in Ghana's development through the transfer of knowledge and technology," noted Mr. Lee.
In Ghana, Singapore hopes to help build capacity and contribute to growth in the transport and logistics, Oil and gas, the consumer sectors.