Ghana: First Ghana-Thailand Senior Meeting Held in Accra

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has called for an increased presence of Thai manufacturing industries in the country to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat soon to be established.

The Supervising Director of the ministry, Ambassador Sammie Eddico said this last Thursday at the first Ghana-Thailand Senior Meeting held in Accra.

The meeting brought together representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Industry, the Ghana Free Zone Board (GFZB) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

It was aimed at identifying new areas for inclusion in the existing spheres of bilateral cooperation and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

The discussions centered on three thematic areas: agriculture, trade, investment, finance and education and was expected to provide the framework for enhancing the levels of partnership and cooperation between both countries

According to Ambassador Eddico, the government was geared towards diversifying the economy and establishing a business-friendly environment to attract investors from countries including Thailand.

Ambassador Eddico indicated that both countries had not taken advantage of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2006 and 2008 to establish a Thailand-Ghana Joint Commission for Economic Scientific and Technical Cooperation and a Joint Trade Agreement Commission aimed at boosting the flow of businesses between the two countries.

He said these agreements were to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the countries, adding that "it is my hope that this great relationship that our two countries have forged will be extended to economic partnerships for the benefit of our people."

Ambassador Eddico noted that Ghana was desirous of taping into Thailand's experiences and transfer of technology that would guide its development efforts.

After a closed-door meeting, the Supervising Director said the meeting had provided a forum for both countries to touch base on various areas of possible cooperation and suggested ways to improve their economic bonds.

He said it behooved on both countries to continue working together to effectively push through the areas of possible collaboration that had been outlined and entreated them to ensure the operationalisation of their conclusions.

The Director General of the Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs, Jesda Katavetin said it was necessary for both countries to keep focus on the agricultural sector explaining that it had the potential of boosting trade between Ghana and Thailand.

He said Thailand had developed its agriculture sector for a long time and had gained a lot of expertise and "this we believe we can share with our African partners.

When we talk about doing business, we do not look at one country, we have a lot to offer and a lot that other countries in Africa would want to diversify that can lead to more business activities and look at Asia as the new destination."

He said Thailand and Ghana would continue to work together to achieve tangible outcomes for the mutual benefits and prosperity of the two countries.

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