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23.10.2008 Business & Finance

Look to Ghana as preferred choice of investment destination - Kufuor

By gna

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday urged Dutch businesses to look more to Ghana as preferred choice of investment destination and enter into mutually rewarding partnerships with their Ghanaian counterparts.

A solid foundation, he said, had been laid for the take-off of the private sector and what was required now was to secure the necessary partnerships to fulfil the ambition of accelerated economic growth.

Addressing the Dutch Chamber of Commerce at the De Bazel Conference Centre in Amsterdam on day two of his three-day high state visit to the Netherlands, he mentioned agriculture, oil sector, railways, ports and harbours as areas of the economy, where they could come in with their money for long-term investment.

More than 80 Dutch affiliated companies have registered in Ghana with the total volume of trade between the two nations put at more than 400 million euro.

In sub-Sahara Africa, Ghana is ranked the fourth largest trade partner of the Netherlands.

President Kufuor said with the country's abundance of natural and human resources, the Europeans should come in with their expertise and capital in partnerships that would make them become more competitive.

He said it was time they all went back to the drawing board as the world was becoming increasingly interdependent.

The Dutch Foreign Trade Minister, F. Heemskerk, pledged his country's commitment towards deepening its trade and investment relations with Ghana.

He noted that under the leadership of President Kufuor, a stable, sound and investment-friendly environment had been created in the West African nation.

Starting businesses in Ghana, he said, had now become easier and praised the Government for its efforts at making the private sector vibrant and the engine of growth of the economy.

President Kufuor at another meeting with the Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr J. Cohen, said he was assured by the visit that the future in terms of Ghana-Dutch trade and business interaction looked bright.

His country, he said, was looking for serious partnerships based on commitment to ensure win-win for all parties.

Amsterdam has a Ghanaian population of about 9,000 and the Mayor said the strong relations between them had been formed on the basis of the lessons of the past.

The City and Ghana are well connected as they organise trade missions to the country every two years.

"Ghana is doing well, a stable country in sometimes an unstable continent," he added.

Meanwhile, Sitos Group, a Dutch Company operating in Ghana in the cocoa sector, has announced plans to raise its investment in cocoa warehousing in the country from the current 30 million euro to 40 million euro.

Mr M.G. Versteeg broke the news when President Kufuor undertook a guided tour of their cocoa storage and distribution centre.

About 90 per cent of cocoa stored at the facility, with the capacity for 225,000 tons come from Ghana.

President Kufuor earlier laid a wreath at Dam Square, a memorial erected for World War II victims.

On parade were contingents from the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments, 13th Battalion of Air Mobile Brigade, 17th Armoured Infantry Battalion, 101st Communications and Information Systems battalion and the Army Band.

From: Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, Amsterdam, Netherlands