The Board of the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC) has paid a courtesy visit on Monday to His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of Ghana and Head of the Economic Management Team under the Government of President Nana Akufo Addo.
With members such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Unilever Ghana, Wienco, the Vlisco Group, Vivo Energy, Dutch&Co, PwC Ghana and IOI Loders Croklaan, the GNBCC serves as a bilateral Chamber of Commerce for Ghana and the Netherlands.
It represents the business interests of both Ghanaian and Dutch companies and renders business development and support services to its members. The Netherlands is currently Ghana’s fifth largest export destination, third largest import partner and among its biggest investment partners.
The delegation to Flagstaff House was led by Mr Kofi Boateng, a former Managing Director of Tex Styles Ghana Ltd and current Chairman of the Board of GNBCC. The delegation furthermore consisted of the Board Members of GNBCC, its General Manager, Mr Tjalling Yme Wiarda, and several prominent representatives of its membership. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was represented by Acting Ambassador Ms Caecilia Wijgers.
The GNBCC congratulated His Excellency on his first months in office and welcomed the private sector oriented approach adopted by the current government. The GNBCC signaled its readiness to partner the government in implementing its pro-business reform agenda and expressed its hope that this would lead to strengthened private sector engagements between the Netherlands and Ghana.
A trade mission that GNBCC had facilitated earlier this month on food processing technologies and packaging, had once again demonstrated the vast opportunities for further trade and investments between the two countries. In order to fully seize this potential, a conducive business enabling environment is key.
The Vice President therefore shared some of the measures the government is already taking to this effect. Being granted the opportunity, GNBCC also shared some concrete examples of challenges perceived by its members. Issues raised were the risks of counterfeit and smuggling to Ghana’s textile industry, the facilitation of the production of energy from waste and challenges related to the ports, such as the costs of clearing goods and the relatively long processing times in Tema.
The GNBCC thanked the Vice President for the gracious audience and finally invited His Excellency to the closing ceremony on the 3rd of August of the ‘New Business Challenge’, a unique and annual business case competition organized by GNBCC in which 20 Ghanaian and 20 Dutch students work together in mixed teams on solutions for companies to further promote trade and investments between the Netherlands and Ghana.
For the future the Vice President expressed his interest to continue the dialogue with the GNBCC on a more regular basis.