Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Mr James Duddridge, UK Minister for Africa, have virtually co-chaired the fifth UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC).
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the meeting built UKGBC 2020, which supported more than £223m of investment in Ghana’s infrastructure.
The UK Government announced a new programme of support for the Ghana Revenue Authority. It noted that the meeting reflected on the achievements of the UK-Ghana partnership over the past year, including support for the security sector following the recent visit of Madam Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary.
The statement said since the last meeting of the UKGBC; the UK-Ghana economic partnership had supported more than £223m of investment in infrastructure across the country, the most significant UK investment into infrastructure in Ghana in a generation.
“This investment has significantly developed the country’s critical infrastructure, combining UK support and expertise with Ghanaian skills and entrepreneurship to build roads, bridges, hospitals, water infrastructure, airports and the expansion of Kumasi market,” it stated.
The Council members discussed the progress of critical projects that had grown out of the work of the UKGBC. They include support to create jobs and build a sustainable industry in the auto, garments and pharma sectors through the UK’s £12m JET programme and the ongoing the construction of the Tema to Afloa road.
The £80.3m projects, supported by UKEF, would improve transport links across the country and ultimately West Africa whilst creating skilled jobs for Ghanaians.
Mr Iain Walker, the outgoing British High Commissioner to Ghana; Emma Wade-Smith, the UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa; Sir Graham Wrigley, Chairman of the CDC Group and Louis Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of UK Export Finance, also attended the Council.
Ghana’s side included Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence; Mr
Joseph Osei Owusu, the Minister of Public Enterprises and Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Adviser to the President.
It said delegates welcomed the signing of the UK-Ghana Trade Partnership Agreement, recognising it as the foundation for a strengthened trading relationship securing tariff-free access for products sold in British shops and supporting jobs in Ghana and helping both nations build back better from COVID-19.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Walker said: “Today’s fifth UK-Ghana Business Council UK recognised the long and enduring partnership between our nations and the real progress we have made since the Council was established in 2018.
“Together, the UK and Ghana have worked to encourage economic diversification, seen new investment in manufacturing and improved tax policy and signed a Trade Partnership Agreement that will support Ghana’s priorities in trade and investment, and ensure that our mutual partnership strengthens.”
The statement said during the meeting; the UK Government announced a new support programme for the Ministry of Finance and Ghana Revenue Authority to increase tax revenue and strengthen the country’s tax policy and administration.
Mr Duddridge reiterated the UK’s full support of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and again welcomed Ghana’s successful hosting of the AfCFTA Secretariat.
The statement said both Council Chairs acknowledged the challenges and opportunities ahead. Both Ghana and the UK continued the fight against climate change and collaborated to build a cleaner, greener future.
Established in 2018, the UKGBC functions as a high-level forum to promote bilateral relations and strategic partnerships between the Ghanaian private and UK counterparts.
The aim is to promote trade and investment for the mutual benefit of each nation and enhance economic growth.
The UK-Ghana Trade Partnership Agreement will provide Ghana with tariff-free access to the UK and restore the terms of trade that applied until 31 December 2020.
Total UK trade with Ghana was £1.2 billion in 2019.
The Agreement restores Ghana’s duty-free, quota-free access to the UK.
It will allow the UK to deepen its relationship with Ghana further and pursue common interests.
BHM Construction International is said to be a civil engineering company specialising in airports and roads.
The Tema to Afloa road – border with Togo major upgrade will be their first project in Ghana.
UKEF is the UK government’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.
Working with more than 100 private credit insurers and lenders to help UK companies access export finance -a particular class of loans, insurance policies or bank guarantees that enable international trade to occur as efficiently and securely as possible.
Held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021, the COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.