The United Kingdom (UK) has increased its export finance cover available to Ghana from £125 million to £500 million. The offer is intended to, among other things, support new Ghanaian businesses that want to partner with the UK.
The UK Minister of State for Africa, Ms Harriet Baldwin, who announced this at the UK-Ghana Investment Summit in London, said the move was also to spur the plans of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for industrialisation, infrastructure development and value addition to important sectors that drove the economy.
Ms Baldwin also announced a new partnership between the Bank of England and the Bank of Ghana, saying that stronger technical assistance between the two financial entities would help Ghana and its companies raise local currency bonds abroad.
UK investors visit Ghana “In February this year, the Department for International Trade brought 18 of the UK’s top infrastructure companies for a week-long trade mission and business forum to better understand Ghana’s infrastructure needs.
“Last week, the Scottish Development International also came to Accra with an 18 strong oil and gas trade mission. But in all these, finance is crucial and that is an area where the UK can deliver,” she said.
Describing London as the meeting place for the world’s global investors and global investment opportunities, Ms Baldwin said: “The London Stock Exchange had, in the last decade, raised $10 trillion and also has $15 trillion in assets under management.”
The British government, she explained, was, therefore committed to having a trade relationship with its African partners that were as good as those it already had, if not better.
She said the bilateral trade between the UK and Ghana was £1.4 billion in 2016, representing a 26 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure.
“Today, we are hosted by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, which has 95 members, 60 of whom are UK-based, with many investing in Ghana for years.
“Nurturing these business relations and increasing bilateral trade will help provide more jobs because it is increased trade that will help provide the revenue and support for infrastructure improvement and education, so that Ghana has a workforce that can truly meet the workforce of the future,” she added.
Economic development On economic development, Ms Baldwin said the UK was seeking long-term partnerships to deliver economic development and create opportunities for everyone.
To that end, she said: “The UK is shifting the focus of our support, in line with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision, away from large-scale resource transfers in health and education and towards targeted technical assistance which will support economic development, diversification and the creation of decent jobs and livelihoods.
“It will support domestic resource mobilisation and tax reforms in a partnership between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the UK Customs to enhance Ghana’s ability to self-finance and secure exit from poverty.”
Alluding to the fact that 57 per cent of Ghanaians were under the age of 25, Ms Baldwin said that young population would not only be a huge opportunity for the country in its development efforts but also present real policy challenges, since young people needed education and jobs to secure their future. She, therefore, gave an assurance that the UK would work on governance of the social sectors to safeguard the considerable gains made to date.
“Building on work that has already helped to shape the business environment, develop oil and gas and support small and medium-size businesses and a new strategic partnership will deliver mutual benefit for the UK and Ghana.
“With the refocusing of UK aid and greater engagement with the private sector, a new UK aid of allowing the final stages of design will stimulate that private investment and create thousands of jobs for Ghanaians by increasing private investments into key industries working with British, Ghanaian and global businesses,” Ms Baldwin said.