(From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent Atlanta, USA)
Atlanta (US) Sept 26, GNA- Ghana is committed to pushing forward the Doha Round of Trade Talks that would enhance fair and equitable participation of her products on the international commodity market. This the country is doing with the involvement of fellow African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries whose major export products are finding it difficult to compete with those from the developed partners, whose governments have consistently subsidized their products especially agricultural and farm produce.
Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, made these comments in an interview with the Cable News Network (CNN) on Friday when he toured the ongoing Ghana EXPO 2004 underway in Atlanta, United States.
The Vice-President was accompanied by Nana Akuffo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Fritz K Poku, Ghana's Ambassador to the United States, Mr Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Kwesi Abeasi, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC), Mr Kwame Afriyie, Director of EXPO Africa, organizers of the Ghana EXPO 2004, and officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industries and Presidential Special Initiatives (PSIs).
Commenting on his impressions on the Ghana EXPO, Vice President Aliu said it was worth the effort to establish linkages between the Ghanaian and American market, saying there was no better time than now. He said it was a platform by which business operators in Ghana and in the United States could exploit investment and business opportunities, which would go to improve the socio-economic lives of people in the two countries.
The tour, which took almost an hour, took the Vice President through the various booths, which showcased products from fabrics, textiles, wood and leather products, services, estate developers, medicine and business development agencies.
The event has over 200 participants from Ghana and the US. In an earlier seminar, Ms Mary Carlin Yates, US Ambassador in Ghana praised Ghana's strides to improve the economic situation saying the investment climate in Ghana is one of the best in Africa and urged investors and businesses in America to take a dive to explore the potential in the country.
She said, " the government of Ghana has made sustained economic growth and development aimed at reducing poverty and I hope that businesses in America and beyond must come over and see for themselves what more can be done."
She mentioned the participation of companies like Phyto Ryker, Micro Soft, Valco, Coca Cola and Newmont, which are investing 450 million dollars in setting up two mines in Ahafo and Akyem in the Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions respectively.
The trend she noted has resulted in Ghana's qualification for the Millennium Challenge Account and positive ratings of B+ and B by Standard and Poors and Fisch Rating Agency.
She however, called for urgent attention to challenges on the settlement of business disputes and the idea of establishing the one-stop shop for persons setting up their businesses.