Success for the growing strategic partnership between the governments and peoples of Ghana and Guyana will hinge on productive participation by two countries’ private sectors, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
Dr. Bawumia observed that though trade between the countries has historically not been very high due to varied reasons, the recent upsurge of economic growth in the respective economies has provided an enabling environment for the private sector to enhance commercial ties between the two countries.
“It is therefore our expectation that the private sector, through an innovative approach, will partner with government to create sustainable growth by focusing on the pillars of development for economic prosperity,” he added.
Also, he said: “There is an economic imperative at this momentous occasion in our relations for the two countries to broaden the scope of our engagements, given the commonalities and synergies in our economics”.
The areas of possible collaboration include oil and gas, the petrochemical sector, agro-processing and agriculture, education, mining and tourism.
Against this background, Dr. Bawumia said the government of Ghana welcomes the increasing collaboration between private sector operators from the two countries “aimed at identifying potential investments and addressing the persistent trade imbalances in our ties”.
Some of the strategies the two governments may deploy in the meantime to boost cooperation include the exchange of trade missions, workshops and seminars, and linkages with the business community and other financial services to create the necessary incentives for attracting private equity in education, infrastructure and energy for socio-economic development.
These came up when the Vice President addressed a joint consultation meeting between government officials, captains of industry and other private sector players from Ghana and Guyana in Georgetown, Guyana.
Dr. Bawumia, who is on a three-day official visit to Guyana, further called on the private sector to also promote entrepreneurial activity and interaction between universities and companies.
This is expected to be done through innovation in research, which all growth depends on, as well as other market instruments such as credit and economic subventions, and direct investments in health and fintech developing technology solutions.
Another important area requiring urgent attention is the issue of connectivity between the two countries, the Vice President noted.
“For us to realise this commercial objective of promoting trade and investments between our two countries, it is crucial that the private sector should support the Air Services agreement between Ghana and Guyana – designed to improve air connectivity between countries in Africa and South America.
“It is expected that the private sector or airlines will be able to fly without any restrictions to the desired destinations to promote connections between the two continents.
“One of the strategies to be adopted by both sides is embarking on promotional drives to sensitise the business community about potential benefits associated with sustainable air linkages in one of the largest aviation projects in the world.”
The President of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in his address explained that the strategic partnership is being facilitated at the highest levels of government, and assured the private sector of speedy resolutions for any challenges they might face.
“This forum is a clear indication that the private sectors of the two countries will be the engines for this strategic partnership. It is the beginning of the process to integrate our people and the private sector; and find common ground to examine common opportunities, build common strategies and learn how to make use of them,” he added.
“This not a simplistic, business engagement. It is about bridging the divide, expanding and creating markets and new opportunities, sustaining industry and building capacity. It is a people-to-people engagement for shared prosperity, based on actionable measures.”
He noted that the high-level representation, from both countries, will help to remove red-tape and bureaucracy, and therefore urged the businesses gathered to make good use of the opportunities.
“You have two governments ready to engage and work with you. Let us combine the power of our partnership and seize the opportunity to be dynamic global players,” he stated.