Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Edward Boateng, has stated that various opportunities are available in China for Ghanaian Exporters to take advantage of in Asia’s largest Market.
Ghanaian businesses like others elsewhere, have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
China in particular, which is a major destination from where Ghana imports a lot of its goods, has also been hit hard, although a reduction in imports from that country is taking a huge toll on Ghanaian businesses.
Nonetheless, amidst the pandemic, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Edward Boateng, told Citi Business News there are also opportunities in China that Ghanaian importers can tap into by producing enough to meet the demands.
He says cocoa products and cash crops such as cashew and soy beans are in high demand by most Chinese. Trade volumes between Ghana and China reached 7.3 billion dollars in 2018.
Mr. Boateng believes this could be improved further if Ghanaian businesses diversify their exports to the Asian country.
He spoke to Citi Business News on the occasion of 60 years of bilateral relations between Ghana and China.
“Even if we can get 1% or 2% of the Chinese population to consume products made from our cocoa that will be a very good boost for our cocoa farmers. So, it’s something we are working harder on. And I also believe that we should be exporting more to China especially in terms of our Agricultural products. It’s an opportunity, and the doors have been open now for both sides and I think the Chinese are being more aggressive than our entrepreneurs. I like our Government to help our entrepreneurs to export more to China especially our Agric products “he said.
“The Competitive advantage we have is in Agriculture. So, for Ghanaian businesses that want to export to China, they should look at Agricultural products, both for Cash crops and food crops. If we look at cash crops, we have cocoa, cashew and soy beans, and for food crops we’re looking at cassava, oranges, pineapples. Yam is both a cash crop and food crop, “he added.
He further called on government to initiate high-level discussions with China, about transforming Ghana into the next manufacturing hub to serve the rest of the African continent and the world.
This he believes will lead to a strengthening of China’s global supply chain to avert any supply shortages in case of issues on mainland china.
He said, “In the future, what I am looking at is that we could also become a hub for West Africa and hopefully for the African continent where we can work with the Chinese to produce some of these so that we become the transition point for the rest of the world and even some of the European countries. The world post COVID-19 is going to be challenging for China as well, if you look at some of the conversations going on”.
Mr. Edward Boateng said Ghana is well positioned to become the Singapore of the African continent, especially with the help of the Chinese.
“We also need to engage them on that level and find out how we can work together and how we can help to strengthen the supply chain so that if something happens in China, Ghana could step in. We can easily make ourselves the Singapore of Africa. Yes, we don’t have a big population, but 30 million is quite sizable while Singapore only has a population of 6 million and they have been able to position themselves as the hub in Asia and that is what I think we should be doing.”
“So, I think the world after COVID-19 requires a lot of deep, critical thinking in terms of where we want to position ourselves as a country and as a people in terms of the world economy.”.
Ghana established diplomatic relations with China in July 1960, shortly after its Independence in 1957.
The personal friendship between the late President Kwame Nkrumah and Chairman Mao Zedong, laid the deep foundation for the relations between the two countries at the time.