Dr Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Trade Associations (GUTA) has called for the improvement in cultural and business exchanges to facilitate trade partnerships between Ghanaian businesses and the United Kingdom investors.
He said Ghanaian businesses must seek partner investors with expertise in manufacturing and value addition.
Dr Obeng made the call at the UK-West Africa Trade Opportunities in a COVID-19 Era; Trade Opportunities Webinar Series organised by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce.
He said the partnership would give the UK partners or investors access to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Programme.
Opportunities available are manufacturing in consumables, Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemical and Agro-processing, Hardware, Electricals and Electronic products, Building of Warehouses and Construction.
He said the pandemic had exposed the fragile economy of the sub-region, as they could not meet their demands, which was about 90 per cent dependent on imports, especially from China.
Dr Obeng said: “We have a gap of about 90 per cent of the import requirement that needed to be filled to serve the West African Sub-Region with a population of about 390 million and also by extension the entire African continent of 1.2 million people.
“Fortunately, Ghanaian businesses during the outbreak of the pandemic demonstrated innovations in the manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment, hand sanitizers, pharmaceutical drugs and other consumables that were imported initially,” he said.
Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, CEO, Association of Ghana Industries said the pandemic affected more than 80 per cent of businesses.
However, he said: “It also created other opportunities in agro-processing, where there is the need for value addition to primary products, growing demand for cashew and processed Cocoa, Manufacturing (need to expand the pharmaceutical supply chain), aluminium, salt production, energy generation and infrastructure.”
Mr Akwaboah said with the recent launch of the National Export Development Strategy, there were some priority products including; cashew nuts/ processed cashew, ginger, coconut, Shea nut, mango, pineapple, yam, oil palm, garment, services and handicraft.
Madam Jennifer Blagogee, Head of External Relations, UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, said they were happy to welcome any UK businesses, to explore opportunities in West Africa.
“UK Businesses, who look forward to doing business in Ghana should reach out to the Chamber, while it also continues to create business networks,” she added.