The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and the Exporters and Investors Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Accra to boost bilateral cooperation.
Mr Clement Osei-Amoako, the President of GNCCI, signed for his organisation while the visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Mr Dmytro Kuleba, signed for his country.
The event was witnessed by Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
A Business Forum was also held by the Ghanaian business community and their Ukrainian counterparts, who were part of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister’s delegation.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, who opened the forum, said it would enhance relations between Ghana and Ukraine though the relations had seen a rising type of friendly exchanges but remained much more on a political basis.
“A platform, such as this, that aims at boosting economic and commercial relations between our two countries is most welcome,” she said.
Madam Botchwey said trade relations between the two countries had been relatively dormant until April 2018, when a Ukraine Trade Delegation, led by Mrs Nataliia Mykolska, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade, visited Ghana for a business forum.
The visit aimed at enhancing the trade and economic relations, she said, and expressed the hope that those ties would be deepened.
“It is worth noting that Ghana remains one the most attractive business distinctions on the continent for foreign direct investment and the commencement of trading activities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to boost trade with Ghana being the access point to a population of more than 1.3 billion,” she said.
Madam Botchwey urged the Ukrainian business community to take advantage of the foundations Ghana had laid to do business here.
In the past many Ghanaians benefitted in capacity building training in Ukraine through scholarships but such arrangements had reduced significantly in recent times.
She said that notwithstanding there was an enabling environment for the Government to sponsor Ghanaian nationals to study medicine, civil engineering, architecture, agriculture and economics in Ukrain.
She expressed the hope that there would be a much stronger partnership between Ghana and Ukraine, especially in trade and investment, while exploring other opportunities in oil and gas.
Mr Kuleba, on his part, said Ukraine was committed to the MoU and that his team would do a follow-up on the agreements reached to make sure that businesses enjoyed maximum support from both governments.
“We have to focus on adding business meat to the political bone of our relationship. This political bone is very strong, it is very reliable and unbreakable. We want to underpin it and to support businesses and people to people connection,” he said.
Mr Kuleba said the two countries would establish a joint intergovernmental commission to make their cooperation more systemic.