The Vice President, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has implored investors from Austria to take advantage of Ghana’s economic and political stability to invest in the country.
Speaking at B2B Session with the Austrian delegation led by the Federal Chancellor, H.E. Karl Nehammer, in Accra under the auspices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Vice President reiterated Ghana’s commitment to strategic partnership with the private sector and enhanced efforts for industrialization and productive transformation to achieve sustainable economic growth.
He said Ghana is open for business and is eager to forge mutually beneficial and rewarding relationships with Austria.
As Ghana and Austria seem to forge stronger bonds, we have to sustain such relationship through improved technical and science-based education, technology and also address unfair trade relations among others,” he stressed.
He noted that the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s participation at this business forum also demonstrates the commitment of the Austrian government to enhance collaboration between the private and public sectors of the two countries for mutual benefits.
He noted that Ghana has a stable political environment, strong democratic culture, safe and happy people underpinned by freedom of expression.
In the volatile West Africa, Ghana is ranked as the most peaceful country and the second most peaceful country in Africa, he further emphasized.
He also noted Ghana has an educated and competitive and trainable labour force which should motivate the Austrian investors to consider investing in Ghana.
He observed the timing for the meeting was auspicious as the devastating effects of COVID-19, climate change and the ongoing energy and food crisis have demonstrated the need for increased global collaboration.
These global developments have amplified protection and distortions of supply chains with ramifications for economies in the continent including Ghana,” he stated.
Dr. Bawumia however noted that Ghana has initiated steps to bounce back stronger.
Ghana had its fair share of these burdens and is making concrete efforts to bounce back stronger, ” he stressed.
As we pull together to revive the global economy and secure our future against economic, environmental, and health security threats the contribution of Africa to these efforts cannot be understated.
Dr. Bawumia was pleased to see the union of Jospong Group and Komptech as the two signed a 30 million Euro agreement to support rice, maize, and soya production in the country production in Ghana.
The agreement, which was signed by the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr. Joseph Siaw-Adjepong, and Markus Maierhofer on behalf of Komptech, will see Komptech providing machinery and technological support to the Jospong Group rice project.
Komptech is one of the leading international technology providers of machinery and systems for the mechanical and biological processing of solid waste.
The Jospong Group rice project which is being championed by the Asian African Consortium (AAC) is an integrated rice project aimed at making Ghana self-sufficient in rice production resulting in significant economic benefit for the country”.
Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, in a brief remarks invited other stakeholders to join this initiative to improve Ghana’s food security by producing locally the food that it imports.
He said the project team has invited the business mogul, Ibrahim Mahama, and other like-minded businessmen to be part of and support the consortium.
H.E. Karl Nehammer, the first leader of Austria to visit Ghana, in his remark, noted that Ghana has been a reliable partner to Austria and Austria will continue to deepen its engagement with Ghana, adding that trade between the two countries has increased in the past few years.
We therefore see great potential for more development and our aim is to create a partnership of equals for mutual benefits,” he emphasized.
Last year, the Asian African Consortium entered a partnership agreement with Major Rice Industry Players in Thailand to develop an integrated rice farming project. This move by the Jospong Group stemmed from the government’s decision to boost the economy through import substitution.
A core team later visited Thailand for the Ghana-Thailand Business conference in March 2023 with researchers from various universities in Ghana as well as major players in the rice industry.
Last year, Ghana spent over GH¢6.8billion (equivalent to US$ 560 million at current market rates) importing rice, a grain that can be produced locally.
While total rice consumption stood at 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2022, imports valued at US$560 million accounted for 800,000 metric tonnes (mt) of the consumption figure, with domestic production catering for the remaining demand – according to data from IDH Sustainable Trade, a foundation headquartered in The Netherlands.
Similarly, according to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, between 2010 and 2020 the country’s rice imports hit a staggering US$ 8 billion. This, in addition to imports of other food items that can be produced locally, has been a major source of concern for stakeholders.