Business News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jakub Dürr, has called on the Government of Ghana, to fast-track the signing of an investment protection agreements with the Czech Republic to increase the European country’s investments in the country.
According to the Deputy Minister, the investments treaty (agreement) is expected to remove barriers which will allow Czech investors to come into Ghana to do business without any issues.
Mr. Jakub Durr who speak to the B&FT during a business to business forum on agric and defence organized by the Czech Republic Embassy in Accra, maintained that though Ghana and Czech Republic had a double taxation agreement, it was imperative to finalise the investment protection agreement.
“I am very happy that we have at the beginning of this year finalized the agreement on double taxation, an important framework for businesses. We are looking now to finalise the investment protection treaty and other certain important documents which are essential for businesses.
We will like to have equal partnership, we are here to do the things or solve the problems Ghana will like to by assisting you in decisions that will help the people of Ghana. Czech Republic is supporting free trade because we do believe that it is a good vehicle to support businesses in each country but we must have an MOU to that effect,” Mr. Dürr who led a 17-member delegation from Czech Republic to Ghana to explore partnerships and outright sales opportunities said.
He called on Ghanaian business to take advantage of the best technology for agriculture coming from Czech and form partnerships to allow for the transfer of the best technology into Ghana.
Czech Ghana Relations
The Czech Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Gita Fuchsova, noted that the relationship between the two countries had made it possible for some Ghanaians to be trained in the Czech Republic in fields such as medicine, mining, engineering and architecture.
She expressed optimism that the business visit would further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as create the avenue for Czech producers of goods and services to directly interact with Ghanaian businesses and invest in Ghana for business networking in the various sectors.
Ms. Fuchsova said the Czech Republic had a lot to offer to facilitate the socio-economic growth of Ghana, in line with the vision of the government to create a business-friendly environment.
“Our purpose is to encourage and ensure that businesses from the Czech Republic and Ghana are able to succeed and become sustainable in either Ghana or the Czech Republic,” she added.
Ghana’s Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, assured of government’s commitment to ensure the free flow of Czech investments into Ghana especially to help revive the ailing agric sector.
According to Mr. Afriyie-Akoto the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has made it his priority to revive the agricultural sector with the introduction of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and “One District, One Dam” programmes.
EU lift Ban on vegetables
But in an interview with journalist after the forum on when the European Union (EU) is expected to lift the ban on some vegetable exports from Ghana, Dr. Akoto was optimistic that the ban will be lifted by close of year.
According to him, there have been subsequent reviews to correct the challenge between Ghanaian and European authorities on the export of the right vegetables into Europe.
“There are five items which have been banned for two years and we are hoping that they will be lifted this year. Because there is a program including a visit by the EU officials to come and review all the things that we have been doing to reform the way we are doing all our exports and if they are satisfied, the ban will be lifted.”
Dr. Akoto added that the ministry together with allied agencies has intensified efforts to achieve more than 90 percent of the needed conditions to get the ban removed.
The EU banned the exports of some vegetables from Ghana over concerns on their quality but the lifting of the ban is expected to should increase Ghana’s production of such vegetables to about 20 million dollars.