FDI should be in the spirit of partnership - JAK
Accra, May 12, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday said Foreign Direct Investments in developing countries should be made in the spirit of genuine partnership but not on exploitation.
He said investors should ensure that indigenous people were made partners at both the managerial and working levels to impart knowledge and technical know-how to the people.
President Kufuor made the call when he led a Government delegation to bilateral talks with the Zambian Government delegation led by President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa at the Castle, Osu.
He said: "We want to see that people from developing countries feel genuine partnership in investments but not exploitation." President Kufuor said the visit by President Mwanawasa was to formalise the already cordial relationship that had existed between both countries since their pre-independence era.
He said after independence both countries witnessed one-party systems but now their citizens had decided to develop through democratic and multi-party systems in addition to assistance under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Scheme.
President Kufuor said both countries had gained political liberation and they were trying to gain economic liberation within the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to achieve economies of scale and best practices to improve on the wealth of their peoples.
He said the visit would enhance dialogue between them to compare processes of development and learn from each other towards economic liberation that would unite the African Continent.
"Since most African countries suffer the same drawback, when their leaders put their heads together at the leadership level they would gain economic rationalisation and good governance," he said.
President Kufuor said: "The African Continent has been labelled as a scar on the world and we just want to remove this scar for the Continent to be seen as a place of peace, stability and economic development."
He said at the end of the bilateral talks, a framework should be established that would be renewed periodically to determine whether progress was being made to achieve the benchmark they had set for themselves.
President Mwanawasa said both countries had embarked on an economic crusade to improve on the living standards of their peoples. He said there had been very little interaction between them and called for regular interaction and partnership between entrepreneurs from each country to exploit the abundant natural resources in both countries for their development.
President Mwanawasa said developing countries required developed countries to assist them to develop but said: "Africa could be developed only by Africans. It is, therefore, important that Africans unite to develop".
He said foreign direct investments to developing countries failed to involve the indigenous people in their managerial activities but only employed them as casual labourers without imparting any knowledge or technical know-how to them to develop.
President Mwanawas cited the case of Zambia where the people had the expertise, know-how and were capable and competent but foreign investors preferred to employ experts outside the country. He later paid a visit to the Tema Harbour and the Hydro-electric Dam at Akosombo.
A State banquet would be held in his honour later in the night at the Accra International Conference Centre.