Russia sets aside US$1bn to boost trade ties with Ghana


The Russian Federation has set aside US$1billion to assist Russian companies wanting to invest in the Ghanaian economy, in a move aimed at reinvigorating the sixty-year old diplomatic relations that exist between the two countries and which were strongest in the Nkrumah era.

The Russian Embassy in Accra has been celebrating 60 years of established diplomatic relations with Ghana, and at a reception in that regard Chairman of the Ghana Russian Business Development Council, Dr. Lawrence Awuku-Boateng, explained that Ghanaian business people wanting do business with Russia will also be assisted.

The money, he said, will be disbursed through the Russian Export Centre.

“I am glad to announce that the Russian government has decided to assist all Russian Companies who would like to work in Ghana, and Ghanaian companies who would like to do business with the Russians should contact the Embassy or Council for assistance.”

In an interview with B&FT at the event, Ambassador of the Russian Federation H. E. Dmitry Suslov said his country is committed to building “sustainable partnerships” with Ghana.

“I can see Ghana now attracts more Russian businesses due to its stable democracy, sustainable macroeconomic performance and the advanced business infrastructure.

“The importance of Ghana to Russia as an anchor partner country within the West Africa region is in a way being recognised and affirmed by the continuous presence of Russian delegations in the country,” he said.

Russia has shown keen interest in playing a major role in the Akufo-Addo government’s plan to revamp Ghana’s railway sector.

Its railway company, Geo Services, has said it is ready to invest over US$12.5billion in the redevelopment of Ghana’s Railway network.

Its CEO, Sergey Kamnev, told the B&FT in December that if his company wins the bid, Ghana should expect nothing but the best in railway infrastructure.

Mr. Kamnev led a delegation to attend the market-sounding event organised by the Ministries of Railways Development and Transport, on development of the Eastern Railway Line and Boankra Inland Port projects.

Government is seeking to enter into a Public, Private Partnership arrangement for the two specific projects, for which an estimated US$2.4billion is required.

Figures show that the volume of trade between Ghana and the Russian Federation reached an all-time high of US$257million in 2016, although both sides agrees that there is more room for improvement.

Currently, Russian exports to Ghana consist of fuel, fertilisers, cardboard and paper, while Ghanaian exports to Russia are mainly cocoa beans and other agricultural products.

To enhance the diplomatic, bilateral, and trade ties between the two countries, the Russian Federation has established the Ghana Russian Business Development Council to help in linking up business, education and culture.

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