The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI), has said trade between Ghana and the Netherlands was favourable from 2016 to 2019 with a trade surplus of $406 million dollars in 2018.
In 2019, Ghana recorded a positive trade balance of $734.8 million dollars with estimated exports of $966.3 million dollars to the Netherlands.
However, in 2020 Ghana’s export to the Netherlands decreased to $759.7 million dollars, whilst that of the Netherlands to Ghana increased from $231.5 million dollars in 2019 to $876.5 million dollars in 2020, recording a surplus of $116.8 million dollars.
This was contained in a speech by the Ramses Joseph Cleland read on his behalf by the Coordinating Director/Political and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs. Hannah Nyarko at the inauguration of the Ghana-Netherlands Political Consultation.
It said the Netherlands was shifting its development cooperation with Ghana from aid to trade and investment, in line with the ‘’Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda.
It said, building a Ghana Beyond Aid was not a repudiation of aid but it was expected that the engagement between the countries transition from one based not only on aid to one increasingly based on trade and strategic economic cooperation or partnership.
“Aid is a means to an end, and when used effectively, it will contribute to socioeconomic development. Development assistance will continue to be relevant and impactful when applied more strategically in close alignment with Ghana’s development priorities”, it added.
To this extent, Ghana would continue to rely on the support of the Netherlands for the implementation of government flagship programmes for industrial transformation such as One-District One-Factory Initiative and vehicle assembly, manufacturing of machinery and machine components, pharmaceuticals, textiles & garments, integrated aluminium industry, iron and steel, industrial chemicals, oil palm, industrial starch and downstream petrochemical industry, it said.
“Ghana sees the Netherlands as a very important country in Europe and with our excellent democratic credentials and a vibrant economy, more companies from the Netherlands should be interested in trading and investing in Ghana”, it added.
Ghana’s exports to the Netherlands are predominantly primary and semi-finished goods, which include Cocoa beans, Cocoa butter, Cocoa paste, Crude Petroleum, Cocoa Powder, among others. Whereas imports from the Netherlands include Refined Petroleum, Poultry meat, Excavation Machinery and Packaged Medicaments, among others.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Political Consultations was also signed between the two countries with the aim to establish a mechanism for regular political consultations on bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest.
Patience Anaadem, ISD