The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong participated in the maiden Ghana-Bahamas Investment Summit which was held under the auspices of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Nassau in the Bahamas on Wednesday 17th May, 2023.
The aim of the summit which was part of the Diaspora Connect Roadshow – Caribbean was to reconnect with the people of African descent in the Bahamas in particular and the Caribbean as a whole. The summit was further meant to showcase the economic and investment potential of both countries in order to strengthen and promote economic bilateral relations between the Ghana and the Bahamas in the spirit of South-South cooperation.
Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong in his address underscored the need to improve economic diplomacy to forge partnerships and strengthen economic ties with the Caribbean, besides the ancestral, cultural and traditional ties between Ghana and the Bahamas. This he said was the surest way to creating prosperity and improving the living standards of the peoples of the two countries. He expressed concern about the low trade volumes between the two countries and was optimistic that the summit will brainstorm on steps to bolster trade and investment for the benefit of the two countries.
He applauded the establishment of the Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission in Accra aimed at facilitating connection between the Bahamas and Ghana. “The Centre, we believe, will create the enabling environment for partnerships between the two business communities in various sectors of our respective economies, especially in the areas of tourism, fashion and textiles” he added. He further urged the business communities in the two countries to fully explore the opportunities in the identified areas of cooperation to boost trade and investment by way of fostering joint ventures and exchange of knowledge and expertise.
The Deputy Minister subsequently highlighted the locational advantage of Ghana as the gateway to Africa especially as it hosts the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has been established with the objectives of boosting intra-African trade and redefining Africa’s role in the global market. He also touted Ghana’s political stability, peace and security, which positioned the country as the preferred destination for investment, including the fact that Ghana is headquarters to some major multinational companies.
Earlier, the Deputy Minister in the company of other government officials held meetings with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Philip Davis, and later the First Lady Ann Marie Davis. During the meeting with Rt. Hon. Philip Davis, the two officials reviewed Ghana-Bahamas bilateral relations and underscored the importance of the investment summit in improving economic activity between the two countries. The two officials discussed the issues of interconnectivity and a visa exemption regime between Ghana and the Bahamas.
Rt. Hon. Davis assured of his country’s willingness to sign a visa exemption agreement and urged for the immediate negotiation and conclusion of such an agreement. The summit was therefore tasked to seriously discuss practical steps aimed at introducing flights between Ghana and the Bahamas.
Hon. Ampratwum-Sarpong commended the Government and People of the Bahamas for hosting the summit and was hopeful that the outcome of the summit will result in an increase in investment and trade activities between business operators of Ghana and the Bahamas.
Present at the meetings were Ghana’s Minister for Information Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Mr. Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer for Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Hon. Ahomka Lindsay former Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and Board member of GIPC,
Amb. Samuel Yaw Nsiah, Ghana’s Ambassador to Cuba with concurrent accreditation to the Bahamas and officials from the GIPC and other stakeholders from the Bahamas side.