The Ghanaian Times reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday opened the country office of the Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Accra to promote trade and attract foreign direct investments from Japan.
JETRO is an agency of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, External Trade and Investment, responsible for promoting mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.
At a ceremony to open the organisation’s office, President Akufo-Addo described the establishment of the JETRO Ghana office as an important development towards Ghana’s economic relations with Japan.
“It provides a permanent administrative mechanism for strengthening bilateral dialogue and cooperation on trade, investment and private sector development programmes between Japan and Ghana
“The JETRO Ghana office should help facilitate business linkages by directly addressing the language barrier between Ghanaian and Japanese companies,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana would be looking forward to more substantial investments by Japanese companies in Ghana’s manufacturing to enable Ghana to realise its full potential as a regional manufacturing hub in Africa
He expressed the government’s commitment to industrialise the Ghanaian economy to propel growth and address the problem of unemployment among the youth.
He said Ghana had business-friendly environment that had made the country “an investment destination of choice for investors”.
“We also have a buoyant domestic private sector capable and eager, to partner with counterparts from Japan,” he said
The newspaper says that the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Admiral IbokEkwe Ibadan (Rtd), has said that Ghana and Nigeria will continue to be the biggest economies in West Africa, contributing about 70 per cent to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Nigerian envoy, who was speaking during a tour of APHRO Beverages, a beverage production company in Accra on Tuesday, ahead of its Palm Spirit drink product launch in Nigeria, said the partnership between Ghanaian beverage companies and Nigeria would help bridge the unemployment gap in Nigeria when it opens its branch there.
“We are going to be in a position to support, collaborate and see how far we can get this product out there. The raw materials ethanol and palm were in excess here in Ghana saying “we will collaborate and see how much we can explore the potential of the raw material and complement what comes from outside the country”.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APHRO Beverages, Charles KojoBucknor, disclosed that APHRO Beverages started less than a year ago and had since won an award for the Spirit of the Year.
He continued that the palm spirit is a triple distilled drink with a smooth and premium infused with fruits, herbs and spices from the tropics.
According to him, the shareholders of the company consist of four Ghanaians, some from Angola, Kenya and Nigeria specifically PeterOkoye of P-Square fame.
When asked how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would benefit his company, he said “the AfCFTA is relatively new, however, it will help us in penetrating the markets of other African countries and also we will benefit from the tax reliefs it comes with it”.
MrBucknor explained APHRO Beverages was less than a year old and had since won the “Best spirit drink” of the year drink and has managed to secure a partnership with GIHOC to produce its beverages. The partnership, he said, would go a long way to shape APHRO Beverages.
The Graphic report that the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS has appointed Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas as a Special Envoy to Guinea to strengthen dialogue with the authority towards the successful and short transitional process.
The decision was taken at the extraordinary session of the authority held in Accra yesterday.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean Claude Kassi Brou, who announced this at a press conference after the closed-door meeting, said the authority, after deliberations, endorsed the main recommendation contained in a memorandum on the political situation in Guinea.
The meeting also endorsed a report on the political situation in Mali, which was made available after visits to the two countries by high-powered ECOWAS delegations led by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Yesterday’s meeting was to review the political developments in the two countries and advance deliberations on the political situation.
The membership of Mali and Guinea in the community has been suspended as a result of the recent military takeover of their governments.
The extraordinary session was chaired by President Akufo-Addo, and in attendance were Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger and Macky Sall of Senegal.
The others were the Vice-President of Benin, Mr Chabi Talatathe; the Vice-President of Nigeria, Oluyemi Osinbajo; Prime Minister Christophe Marie Joseph Dabiré of Burkina Faso, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Seedy Keita; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Togo, Mr Robert Dussey, and the Ambassador of Cape Verde to Nigeria, Mr Belarmino Monteiro Silva.
The newspaper says that a leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Gideon Boako, has stated that digitalisation holds the key for rapid economic development.
According to him, embracing digital technologies meant providing strategic drivers to create open participatory and trustworthy public sector, to improve social inclusiveness and government accountability.
Speaking at a press conference at the NPP headquarters last Friday, Dr Boako, who is also the spokesperson for the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said digitalisation would also bring together government and non-government actors to develop innovative approaches to national development and long-term sustainable growth.
Touching on how Ghana’s digitalisation agenda would improve the economy, Dr Boako explained that while the theoretical explanations for the digitalisation and economic growth nexus was clear and established, the consequential practicalities of that linkage appear unclear to some.
“In trying to appreciate how the deployment of digital technologies can help reduce the cost of goods and services, we need to understand how price build ups of goods occur through exchange rate exposures.