Accra, May 30, GNA - Ghana and South Africa have committed to deepen bilateral trade and investment ties to promote growth and development for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
South Africa's High Commissioner to Ghana Lulama Xingwana said there was the need for sustainable partnerships between African countries in the area of investment and trade to ensure inclusive growth and development.
'The future of business and economic development in Africa lies in closer cooperation among our countries within the continent. Let us look within the resources we have as partner African countries because we are cut from the same source,' she said.
Madam Xingwana was addressing the opening session of the Ghana-South Africa Business-to-Business Forum on the theme: 'Investment and Business Partnership: the Vehicle for Intra-Africa Integration and Impactful Economic Development.'
The forum was to enable businessmen from the two countries to learn at first hand the trading and investment opportunities they could exploit.
The High Commissioner said Ghana was a key partner in the West Africa sub-region and called for further collaboration with Ghanaian businesses to promote intra-Africa trade as envisaged by the founders of both countries.
Mr Yofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, said there was the need to boost intra-African trade if the continent was to enhance economic growth and development.
'If Africa wants to become a global player there is the need to increase intra-African trade from the current 12 percent to above 80 percent. Africa is a great market waiting to be explored and exploited by our own initiatives,' Mr Grant said.
He said government's focus was to make Ghana the hub for tourism, finance, manufacturing and agro-processing in the sub-region.
Mr David Makura, the Premier of Gauteng Provincial Government, said Africa's great market required the entrepreneurs across the countries on the continent to take advantage of the opportunities.
He said Ghana's business climate offered hope for investors, adding that more South African businessmen would be encouraged to exploit opportunities with their Ghanaian counterparts for the mutual development of the two countries.
Mr Saki Zamxaka, Group CEO of Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), said the Agency's focus was to promote cooperation and trade and investment facilitation between countries.
It is also to promote strategic partnerships and secure bilateral relations.
He said opportunities existed in the areas of original Equipment Manufacturing, Automotive Manufacturing, City Development and Agro-processing with a view to long-term food security and the connection of farms and markets.
Other areas include ICT Development, Mineral Beneficiation and Advanced Manufacturing.
Statistics on business between Gauteng and Ghana showed that Exports going into Ghana reached a high of over three billion Rand in 2016 whilst imports from Ghana only recorded 153 million Rand during the same period.