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01.02.2006 General News

Create enabling environment for exports - Akufo-Addo


Accra, Feb. 1, GNA - Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday called on the Swedish Government to create an enabling environment for Ghana to increase the volume of exports to that country.

Nana Akufo-Addo said although the value of Ghana's imports from Sweden had increased from 36 million dollars to more than 60 million dollars within the last five years, Ghana's exports to Sweden were on the decline especially in textiles and agro-business He said this when Mr Lars-Olof Lindgren, Swedish State Secretary for Trade and Head of a 20-member Swedish trade delegation to Ghana, called on him in Accra.

Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana's target of attaining middle-income status within the next decade could not be achieved without the support of countries like Sweden, adding that with the necessary help, African countries could experience the success stories seen in Asia. He said expansion of infrastructure was a priority of the Government and commended the delegation for donating 32 million dollars worth of Heavy Equipment to the road sector.

He thanked Sweden for cancelling the multilateral component of Ghana's debt to the country, especially the 25 million dollars cancelled under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Nana Akufo-Addo said the Government was seeking concessionary credit to build bridges in the northern parts of the country and appealed for assistance from the Swedish Government to carry out the project.

Mr Lindgren said he was impressed about the level of confidence Ghanaians had shown about economic growth and said members of the delegation were seeking to establish long-term relations with their Ghanaian counterparts.

He said Sweden was willing to work with Ghana to develop its infrastructure, adding that one aspect of the team's visit was to sensitise Ghanaian exporters to easily penetrate the Swedish market with produce like cocoa, coffee, groundnuts and vegetable oils. He said the team had successfully held discussions on economic cooperation, investment, trade and how to make Swedish expertise and technology available to Ghana.

The Swedish trade delegation is on a four-day visit to Ghana to enhance existing ties between business communities between the two countries and to explore potential areas of cooperation.