Diversifying their economies to move up the value chain and industrialize, the Ghana France Chamber of Commerce (CCI France Ghana) is dedicated to strengthening trade and economic relations between Ghana and France with the aim of increasing two-way bilateral trade and investment.
This assurance comes at a time that, Ghana and France stock of FDI amounts 1.4 billion Euros in 2016, making Ghana the seventh-biggest receiver of French investments in Sub-Saharan Africa at the time.
Data available to the B&FT shows that, the activity of French companies established in Ghana has contributed to the creation of around 47,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Speaking to the B&FT, the Managing Director of the CCI France Ghana, Delphine Adenot-Owusu, said the chamber was working hard to increase trade between the two countries to strengthen the size of the market and support diversification and the emergence of value-chains within Ghana.
According to the Managing Director of the CCI France Ghana, she makes sure companies in France start putting Ghana on the map when it comes to exporting their activity as many of them know very little up to nothing about Ghana.
She said there is a considerable potential for development in areas such as agro-industries, water, energy, consumer goods and tourism-related services, as well as ICT, which is also a rapid developing market in Ghana.
Hence the chamber launched the Ghana Days program, which is aimed at CCI France Ghana to using its worldwide network to educate French businesses on the country’s welcoming market.
The maiden edition of Ghana Days was executed in June 2017 where Mrs Adenot-Owusu visited several cities in France where she attended a series of meetings as well as business speed-dating organized together with CCI France and CCI France International.
While in France, she spoke on the reasons why these business men and tourist must invest Ghana, the mutual benefit for the economy and for the investor or business, and shed more light on business implantation in Ghana.
She pointed out that, the success of the maiden edition of Ghana Days sparked conversation and further planning to execute more of these events which now will include trade missions both to Ghana and France.
“These events have sparked collective trade missions to Ghana to meet with local businesses according to investor’s interest. With more Ghana Days already in play to take off in 2018, CCI France Ghana has positioned itself to be a promotor of the Ghanaian market,” she stated.
On agriculture Mrs. Adenot-Owusu said one thing the chamber is committed to doing is to help Ghana to cut down on imports and increase exports by bringing in more companies who will add value to products before they are exported.
“Agriculture also plays an important role in the economy, with produce such as cocoa, palm oil, food crops and fruits. With the need to develop the agro-food industry, more infrastructure needs to be installed across the regions, and French investors are considering these sectors,” she added.
Defined as an emerging market economy by International Monetary Fund and among the world’s developing countries, Ghana is said to have been reaching out to its development partners as it is the second world’s leading producers of Cocoa and counted among the world’s producers of oil.
Managing Director of the CCI France Ghana said again that foreign direct investment is critical for developing and emerging market countries such as Ghana and hence capital injection and companies that extend their business activity to Ghana will cause a positive effect through the stimulation of the country’s economic development. She also emphasized on the need to create more exchanges between French and Ghanaian SME’s, key in the development of all economies.
Mrs Adenot-Owusu said that 2017 has been a great year for French companies in Ghana, seeing a number of them entering the country, and showing the economic dynamism between both countries: Touton (with a new transformation line), Air France (opening of a direct line to Paris), and recently Decathlon the biggest retail sports shop in France which opened the biggest sports retail shop in West Africa. In November 2016, construction was started on the future port of Tema, a project totaling $1.5 billion USD to be carried out by a consortium led by Bolloré.
She added that, the French President’s presence in Ghana end of 2017, a first presidential visit to Ghana, showed that not only do Francophone countries count on France but the new alliance between France and Ghana indeed shows that Africa is the future.
During the visit, France and Ghana pledged to encourage and support mutual investment through the exchange of delegated visits to prioritized sectors and providing possible support to investors from their respective countries that is required to effectively maintain their operations.
Adding to this, is the CCI France Ghana commitments for the private sectors of both countries to working together in order to identify investment opportunities and promote a two-way trade between the countries by enhancing direct contacts between business communities of both countries.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) is a private association which brings together companies and professionals from various sectors of the Ghanaian economy who want to develop their business in Ghana, in France or abroad.
It supports the business development of French and Ghanaian companies by facilitating trade and financial exchanges between France and Ghana.
The Chamber participates in the promotion of Ghana among French players and accompanies them in their approach to the Ghanaian market and also supports Ghanaian companies in developing their international potential.
The chamber was inaugurated in 2014, a little over two years ago with 40 members but currently has 130 members represented in over 20 business sectors and CCIFG usually organises networking events and conferences, among others, with the aim to promote the bilateral relation that exists between Ghanaian and French businesses.
Since July 2015, the Chamber has been part of the International Network of the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which represents 190 chambers in 90 countries comprising 370,000 companies.
The role of the CCIFG is centered on three areas: to animate, inform and support.