Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his visiting Columbian counterpart Madam Francia Elena Marquez Mina have opened the Ghana-Columbia Business Forum in Accra.
The prestigious Ghana-Colombia Business Forum seeks to explore new avenues of collaboration and partnership.
The event marks a significant step forward in fostering strong ties and creating mutually beneficial partnerships and opportunities between the two nations.
Vice President Dr Bawumia in his address called for the strengthening of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said trade and commerce could flourish in relations between Ghana and Colombia; adding that by identifying trade barriers, streamlining regulations, and enhancing transportation links, they could facilitate the movement of goods and services between their nations.
He noted that joint trade and investment missions and business delegations could further forge new partnerships and deepen existing ones.
“To realize these opportunities, it is crucial that we establish a framework for collaboration that encompasses government support, private sector engagement, and the development of strong bilateral partnerships and linkages,” Vice President Dr Bawumia stated.
“This forum provides a platform for businesses to explore partnerships, exchange ideas, and forge connections that will lead to tangible outcomes.”
He reiterated that from joint ventures to research collaborations, from trade agreements to cultural exchanges, the opportunities were boundless.
He said the Forum attested to the shared commitment of the two countries to broaden their horizons and seek avenues for growth and development.
He said both nations had unique strengths and resources that, when combined, could lead to remarkable achievements in trade, investment, manufacturing, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing.
Vice President Dr Bawumia said Ghana and Colombia share a rich history, diverse cultures, and a common desire for progress.
He said the two countries had shown resilience in the face of global challenges and emerged as beacons of development within their respective regions.
“As we stand on the threshold of a new era, it is imperative that we harness the power of collaboration to unlock the immense potential that lies within our warm friendship,” he said.
Vice President Dr Bawumia said Ghana, with its stable political climate, robust economic growth, and strategic location in Africa, offered an ideal environment for businesses that were seeking to expand their footprint on the African continent.
He said the country's renowned and abundant natural resources, including gold, cocoa, shea nuts, and oil, coupled with its commitment to economic diversification and innovation make it one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments in Africa.
He reiterated Ghana’s commitment to open markets, regulatory reforms, and infrastructure development had created a welcoming atmosphere for businesses to reap returns on their investments.
Vice President Dr Bawumia said as the host of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghana enjoyed several remarkable advantages, including the elevation of the country's global profile as a strategic player in the realm of international trade and economic development.
He said the AfCFTA presented Ghana with unparalleled opportunities for trade expansion.
“As a commercial gateway to Africa, the country is strategically positioned to enhance regional connectivity and trade flows,” he said.
“The removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers within the AfCFTA framework opens up new markets for Ghanaian goods and services, propelling our industries and entrepreneurs to new heights of competitiveness and growth”.
He said, in addition, the AfCFTA's aimed at creating a unified market of over a billion people and a combined GDP of trillions of dollars, making Ghana poised to drive industrialization, boost intra-African trade, and create jobs for the teeming youth, which align perfectly with the national development agenda, as encapsulated in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
On her part, Madam Francia Elena Marquez Mina, the Vice President of Columbia, who is on a two-day visit to Ghana, called for the deepening of the Ghana-Columbia bilateral relations.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said the Ghana-Columbia Business Forum reflected the vital partnership between the two nations; “a partnership built on mutual respect, shared values and the commitment to fostering economic growth, cooperation and development.”
“It is a testament to the dedication of our governments to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties.”
She said Ghana and Columbia had much in common, declaring that they shared a commitment to democratic values, a vision of sustainable development and a belief in the power of innovation and entrepreneurship.
At the event, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education and his Columbian counterpart, signed a cooperation agreement on the behalf of their respective nations.