Ghana offers mangoes to sweeten ties with India

February 28th, 2011 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

By Francis Kokutse
Accra, Feb 28 (IANS) Ghana has acquired 20,000 hectares of land for mango cultivation and has now asked a group of top Indian businessmen to see how it could fit in their investment plans.A 35-member delegation of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) arrived here to hold a two-day business meeting with their Ghanaian counterparts, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), to further strengthen the growing trade between the two countries.

The FICCI team is led by group chairman of DCS Limited, Harpinder Singh Narula, and it is made up of chief executives of some major Indian companies representing agriculture and food processing, information and communication technology and mining. They would also explore ways of investing in the Ghanaian economy.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting, Narula said that the west African nation had become a promising business destination because of the country’s natural resources and high literacy rate.

“The country has a dynamic private sector with a business friendly environment and above all a progressive policy regime to boost trade.

“Ghana occupies an important place in India’s trade promotion programme,” Narula said.

Appiah Donyina, director of exports at the ministry trade and industry in Accra, said that the Ghanaian government has acquired 20,000 hectares of land for mango cultivation in the three northern regions of the country as part of the national mango plantation projects that is aimed at developing mango orchards over the next five years.

Donyina asked the delegation to take a careful look at the project to see how it could fit into their over-all investment plans.

“India is currently one of the largest exporters of mangoes to the European Union and Ghana is offering further opportunities to enhance that,” he said.

“As part of efforts to ensure that Ghana’s manufacturing sector remained competitive, the ministry has established a Tariff Advisory Board to protect the trade sector from unfair business practices and goods imported into the country,” Donyina added.

AGI president Nana Owusu Afari said Ghana has a lot to learn from India, as result of the highly level of growth that the Indian economy has seen over the past few years.

(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at fkokutse@hotmail.com)

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