…set to bring trade agenda to the front burner
All is set for FBNBank’s National Trade Forum which is expected to provide the platform for a deep-dive by key sector partners and stakeholders of how to improve Ghana’s international trade under the topic, “Promoting Trade between Ghana and the rest of the world.”
The event which is scheduled for Wednesday 23 June 2021 at the Labadi Beach Hotel will feature Wamkele Mene, General Secretary of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat (AfCFTA), Ambassador Gambo Yusuf Hamza, Acting Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Diana Acconcia, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Anthony Nyame-Baafi, the Technical Advisor of Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of the Ghana Industries (AGI), Victor Yaw Asante, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FBNBank Ghana as panelists with the Honourable Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr. Alan Kyerematen delivering the keynote address.
According to the organisers, FBNBank Ghana, “It is the desire of the Bank to use the ‘National Trade Forum’ as a catalyst for an improvement in how Ghana’s trade is undertaken and to bring to the fore ways in which the relations with the stakeholders and the country’s partners can also deliver more benefits hence the topic, “Promoting Trade between Ghana and the rest of the world.”
Commenting on the National Trade Forum, Victor Yaw Asante, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FBNBank Ghana said, “On the occasion of FBNBank Ghana’s 25th anniversary, the Bank is hosting a national trade forum which would provide the platform for discussing and initiating actions towards positively impacting Ghana’s trade with its multilateral and bilateral, regional and sub-regional partners.
The first in the series has the topic, ‘Promoting Trade between Ghana and the rest of the world,’ and on Wednesday, FBNBank, together with key stakeholders in Ghana’s trade eco-system will aim to dissect the issues and propose solutions for the consideration of the leadership of this country. FBNBank aims to use the unique form to deliver value and excellence in all issues related to Ghana’s trade corridors. The Bank intends to present the recommendations from the forum to the country’s agencies in charge of trade. Trade is key to the performance of Ghana’s economy and sits at the centre of FBNBank’s focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This whole initiative therefore offers us an opportunity to show what we mean when we say we put our stakeholders first.”
Ghana’s international trade performance continues to be a key contributor to the country’s economy. According to the World Bank, foreign trade (in 2019) represented a whopping 71% of Ghana’s GDP. Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data (May 2021) indicates that Ghana’s imports were valued at US$12.42 billion in 2020 with exports at US$14.47 billion. As at the first four months of 2021, Ghana had earned US$4.37 billion for imports and US$5.13 billion by way of exports. With the advent of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in addition to earlier multilateral, bilateral, regional, sub-regional and preferential trade arrangements, FBNBank believes that Ghana’s performance by way of international trade can be improved through a more concerted effort in order to introduce much needed traction in the country’s economic progress.
The [email protected] National Trade Forum is one of the activities initiated by FBNBank Ghana in commemoration of its 25th anniversary celebrations this year. Since 1996, the Bank, in line with the agenda of its parent company, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has supported SMEs in several sectors including manufacturing, export and import. The Bank’s focus on SMEs was reaffirmed earlier this by the Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Asante, when he announced the celebration of the Bank’s 25th anniversary. The [email protected] National Trade Forum will be telecast live on radio and television. It will also be streamed live on the Bank’s facebook page.