04 September 2016

UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce inaugurated

highThe British High Commissioner in Accra, Mr Jon Benjamin, has commended Ghana for the progress it has made in tackling macroeconomic challenges in line with its programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Such progress is essential to boost investor confidence and growth, along with action to tackle other potential barriers to business, such as the regulatory environment, including licensing rules, customs procedures and land registration issues,” he stated.

Mr Benjamin was speaking at the inauguration of the first-ever UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) in Accra last Thursday.

He said the challenges confronting wider economic issues also represented an opportunity for diversification and growth.

He said as a close friend of Ghana, the UK government was happy to be making a major investment through its Department for International Development (DFID) to promote some of Ghana’s most promising start-ups with the best potential for creating jobs for young Ghanaians and build a more structured public-private dialogue aimed at further improving the overall business environment.

Mr Benjamin gave an assurance that Ghana would continue to enjoy duty-free quota-free on its exports to the UK market,despite Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).

He said the fact that the UK had exited the EU did not mean it had to cancel its trade relationships with countries that had signed on to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and other EU trade agreements.

Purpose of UKGCC

The UKGCC, established barely two months ago, will, among other things, promote, foster and represent UK business interests in Ghana.

In the last one month, 20 companies, including Barclays Bank, Hogan Lovells, Atuabo Freeport, ViVo Energy and Tullow Oil, have joined the chamber.

Mr Benjamin indicated that the chamber would directly help UK companies to identify market opportunities and provide them with a first port of call when they wanted to do business in and trade with Ghana.

Specifically, the envoy said the aim was to transform the support available for British small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to do business in growing global markets with which they might be entirely unfamiliar.

“The chamber will also support Ghanaian companies that want to link to the UK in ways that can help the companies to grow. Over time, and as the chamber develops, it will be able to provide services to help Ghanaian companies that want to export to and invest in the UK,” Mr Benjamin added.

He stressed that the establishment of the chamber would go a long way to deepen bilateral relations between Ghana and the UK.

‘Extend your operations’

In an address, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Hanna Tetteh, challenged the leaders of the chamber to endeavour to extend its tentacles to many Commonwealth countries.

She lauded the support and assistance the British government had extended to Ghana over the years, adding that it was refreshing to hear that Ghana would continue to enjoy duty-free quota-free on its exports to the UK market, despite the UK’s exit from the EU.

That notwithstanding, Ms Tetteh said, there was the need for the UK government to look critically at the long-term effect of Brexit and how it will impact Ghana’s trade relations with other countries.

She noted that over the years trade patterns had gone in favour of the UK and said “going forward, we hope to see that it tilts in our favour”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the UKGCC, Mr Tony Burkson, said his team would work hard to ensure that many companies came on board.

He thanked Mr Benjamin for his immense support over the years.



Source: Graphic.com.gh

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