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19.04.2005 Business & Finance

Swedish trade delegation explores investment opportunities

By GNA

Accra, April 19, GNA - A nine-member Swedish Trade Delegation is in Ghana to hold three days of negotiations with Government officials on how to deepen investment promotion.

The delegation would also examine the Ghanaian investment environment to increase trade relations between the two countries. Sweden exported goods worth 80 million dollars to Ghana last year while Ghana exported items valued at one million dollars.

At a meeting in Accra on Tuesday with the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour, the Delegation said it was in the country to explore avenues to boost exports from Ghana and reverse the current huge trade deficit.

Sten Engdahl, Desk Officer in Charge of West Africa at the Swedish Foreign Ministry, said although the statistics did not give a clear picture of the exact trade figures, the Swedish government had put in place various initiatives to encourage Ghanaian exporters. He said Ghana could take advantage of Sweden's Open Trade Gate policy, which provided assistance to exporters from developing countries to expand its exports in agricultural products such as groundnut, soya beans, maize and cocoa.

Another measure is to encourage Swedish manufacturers to explore the possibility of locating their processing units in Ghana.

The Swedish delegation said transparency and the Government's anti corruption drive were key to attract Swedish investors to Ghana. Prof. Gyan Baffour said Ghana had made economic progress and welcomed initiatives that could lead the country to a higher level of growth.

He lauded the cancellation of Ghana's total debt of 25.3 million dollars owed to Sweden under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

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