The Second Stakeholders Conference on Economic Diplomacy has been held in Accra with a call on all stakeholders to work to advance the economic growth of the country.
The conference was held from the 28th to 30th November 2018, under the theme “Leveraging Economic Diplomacy for Ghana’s Industrialization Agenda” and was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The conference focused on the African Union Agenda 2063, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), National Medium Term Development Policy Framework 2018-2021 and the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda. Other areas of focus were the Macroeconomic Framework, Current Economic Trends and Opportunities in Ghana and Africa, and the Overview of Africa’s Regional Integration Agenda. The rest were Continental Free Trade Area, Boosting Intra-Africa Trade and Trade Facilitation, and Industrialization, Productivity, Competitiveness and Value Chains.
Participants at the conference were from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs), diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
Speaking at the conference, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said government was determined to transform the economy of the country and added that industrialization was key to achieving the vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that as part of efforts to formalize the economy, government had introduced measures such as the national identification cards, digital addressing system, paperless electronic system at the ports, national emergency system, mobile money interoperability payment system among others to propel Ghana’s industrialization agenda.
He said the measures would improve Ghana’s economy by creating jobs and enhancing service delivery. He pointed out that next year, other interventions would be introduced to help advance Ghana’s economy.
In her address, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(MP), said the Ministry had effectively leveraged the tools of economic diplomacy through its missions abroad by actively promoting Ghanaian goods and services, as well as attracting prospective investors for the much needed foreign direct investment.
She stated that the Ministry had also re-positioned itself by re-establishing the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau(ECTIB) to support government’s economic transformation agenda by promoting economic activities in collaboration with key stakeholders.
She was hopeful the information shared on best practices, identified challenges faced by key stakeholders in the Ghanaian economy as well as solutions proffered, would lead to the formulation of strategies for the promotion of Made in Ghana goods, as well as how Ghana should position itself to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)agreement.
Speaking at the conference, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen indicated that economic diplomacy had become imperative for Ghana since Africa was seeking to remove barriers to trade in order to boost intra-African trade.
He said the country had made significant gains with the launch of a comprehensive Industrial Transformation programme which was anchored on a ten point plan aimed at enhancing the productive capacities of the private sector, value addition to natural resources and development of export markets for locally manufactured products. He also noted that Ghana’s ranking on the ease of doing business index had improved.