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The Reception, which was held to mark the second anniversary of the establishment of the EBO in Ghana, had the theme; “Ghana and Europe, one partnership for Business”. The Reception was used to inform the Ghanaian business community about opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Board of EBO Ghana, Mr. Olivier Van Parys stated that EBO Ghana is committed to collaborating with Ghanaian businesses and the relevant government regulatory bodies to develop enduring trade relations with Ghana for mutual benefits. He indicated that the existence of a favourable business environment in Ghana and Europe is critical for the promotion of Trade between the two partners.
Mr. Van Parys said, “I therefore urge Ghanaian investors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the EPA to increase the level of trade between Ghana and the EU”.
The Head of EU Delegation to Ghana, Ambassador William Hanna said the European Union is poised to support Ghana to become a more business-friendly economy as well as the most attractive destination for business in Africa. Ambassador Hanna underscored the importance of the EPA to Ghana’s development; “the EPA is about protecting exports and jobs as well as creating new jobs through new investments and new opportunities for business and trade”.
He also commended the government for its commitment to macroeconomic stability, fiscal discipline, business reforms and support for the private sector and called for a new partnership for business between the EU and Ghana.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was the Guest of Honour, acknowledged the significant role of the EU in Ghana’s economic development over the years, especially with regards to creating jobs, and announced that Ghana is ready for business with the EU.
He said with the coming into force of the Economic Partnership Agreement, Ghana expects to have access to EU markets with more diversified portfolio of products. “We want to move beyond agricultural products and oil. We want products from our light manufacturing industries non-traditonal exports, human talents in the shape of outsourced business process services to have access to the EU market”.
His Excellency Dr. Bawumia reiterated the government’s resolve to build a Ghana beyond aid and called for the support of the EU in realizing this goal. He noted that the private sector represents a powerful ally in creating economic value and jobs hence government’s determination to create a business environment that allows the private sector invest, expand and become profitable while creating jobs and opportunities for Ghanaians.
The event was attended by Ministers of state, heads of governmental organizations such as the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Free Zones Board, Ghana Export Promotion Authority and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority among others.
Ghanaian Business Associations including, Association of Ghana Industries and Private Enterprise Federation, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also present at the event.