Some Irish firms have expressed interest in operating in Ghana in the future.
Ireland has a developing trade relationship with Ghana and this is expected to increase in the coming years.
This came to light when over 150 delegates attended the first Ghana-Ireland Trade and Investment Forum in Dublin last Wednesday.
The event, which was sponsored and organised by Tullow Oil Plc and the Ghana Embassy, brought together Irish and Ghanaian business leaders to discuss opportunities for trade between the two countries.
Representatives from 22 Ghanaian companies took part in the event.
Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with double digit economic growth forecast for 2011. Recently it joined the league of oil producing nations as Tullow Oil’s Jubilee field came on stream.
While the country is set to enjoy the benefits of its oil resources, the Ghanaian government is keen to diversify investment beyond the oil and gas industry.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has grown by over 70 percent in the last year and building international trade relationships is a key priority for the country.
Opening the event, Rosalind Kainyah, Vice President for External Affairs and CSR of Tullow Oil Plc said, “Tullow has developed business relationships in Ghana since the 1980s, long before we discovered oil there in 2007. We know from experience that Ghana is an excellent country in which to do business. The opportunities for Irish businesses in Ghana and indeed in Africa are vast. Ghanaian businesses are ready to partner with Irish companies and we believe this event can be an important catalyst for both countries.”
The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, stressed the importance of the event in his speech to the conference.
“There is a genuine opportunity today to help people and businesses, both Ghanaian and Irish. I hope that today will provide the chance for a successful process of match making between companies to begin, to the mutual benefit of both countries. Today’s event is exactly the type of private sector-led government supported initiative that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade hope will be a more regular feature as a result of the recently launched Africa Strategy, as awareness about opportunity in Africa grows.”
The conference was addressed by the Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Joseph Annan, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Effah – Baffi and Ghana’s Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso – Boafo.
Other speakers included industry leaders from Ireland and Ghana and state enterprise agencies from both countries.