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22.07.2006 Business & Finance

Ghana Needs To Export More To US Under AGOA

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The United States would improve its investment and trade relations to enable Ghana increase it's exports to reflect true partnership between the two countries.

Mrs Florie Liser, US Trade Representative for Africa, said: "The current 496 million-dollar trade relationship between the two countries was not good enough. "We are looking at how Ghana can maximise its partnership with US by increasing its agricultural and even manufacturing products in the US markets," she said during the opening of the fourth Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting between the two countries in Accra.

Details of modalities and form of assistance to Ghana to achieve this are likely to come out at the end of the Council meeting.

Mrs Liser said Sub-Saharan Africa's 1.5 per cent share of world trade was too insignificant to turn economies in the Region around. She threw a challenge to those countries to increase that figure just by one per cent annually and that could generate more than 70 billion dollars in growth and development.

Reiterating the US commitment to the country, Mrs Pamela Bridgewater, US Ambassador stated: "We want Ghana to succeed and we know Ghana will succeed. "Signing the Millennium Challenge Account with Ghana shows our confidence in the Government and people of this country and the success you have chalked in various macro economic indicators," she said.

Ms Bridgewater said, being the first West African country to attain a certification to qualify for AGOA, Ghana's volumes of export to the US market was still low. On investment environment in Ghana, she said, the country could do more to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles like the legal system and corruption.

Welcoming the US delegation, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Ghana's Trade, Industry, Private Sector and President's Special Initiatives Minister, said as part of the new developments in the relationship, both countries would set targets to be achieved for the year. He said a serious look would be taken at how US could support Ghana to enhance its response to the AGOA initiative that was at the heart of the trade and investment relationship.

The meeting would also address trade capacity building and draw strategies to increase US/Ghana trade and investment relationship as well as discuss the World Trade Organisation (WTO) bilateral negotiation issues.

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