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24.10.2008 Commentary

Business In Ghana Now Easy - Dutch Minister

By Samuel Amoako, Amsterdam - newtimesonline.com

THE Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade, Mr F. Heemskerk, has commended Ghana for her steady economic growth and the foundation laid for smooth business operations, saying “starting business in Ghana has become easier.”

He said Dutch companies now consider Ghana as a good place for investment and added that the Dutch private sector will be willing to contribute Ghana's continuous success on the economic front.

Mr  Heemskerk who made the commendation when President J.A. Kufuor met  members of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce here on Wednesday, said the Dutch business community considers Ghana as special, a perception which has heightened their interest in that country.

President Kufuor assured the business community in the Netherlands of  Ghana government's total commitment to engage them in genuine business founded on the basis of a win-win approach.

He said Ghana, since the launch of the Golden Age of Business in 2001, has laid a solid foundation for the smooth operation of business activities and urged Dutch   businesses to look at Ghana for profit oriented investments.

“I assure you that my government is for business and that implies joint ventureship with Ghanaian entrepreneurs,” he said.

President Kufuor said Ghana, with its abundant raw materials, stands ready to partner the Netherlands which has the technical know-how to strategically place themselves to effectively compete in the global market.

In the current global market which is increasingly posing challenges to many countries, he said, it was only nations which were able to strategise effectively that could gain comparative advantage over others and survive.

“We have the raw materials and you have the know-how.  If we strike the partnership now, by the time the world settles, our partnership will be among the winners,” he said.

The President briefed them on government's intention to make Ghana the gateway to the West African sub-region and added that extensive expansion works have been undertaken in the two main ports of Tema and Takoradi and called for joint ventureship to develop an inland port currently under construction.

He also called for partnership in the oil sector where Ghana wants to develop a comprehensive petrol-chemical industry following the oil find in the country.

Earlier, President Kufuor paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr J. Cohen, where he expressed  hope of a brighter future for the trade and investment relations between the two countries.

He also laid a wreath at the Dam Square in Central Amsterdam in memory of those who fought for the country in the Second World War.

The President also visited the Sitos Storage and Distribution Centre where a substantial proportion of cocoa exported from Ghana is stored.        

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