Business News of Tuesday, 15 January 2013
The opening of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana is helping to deepen economic activities between Ghana and Germany.
This year is cut to see deeper Ghanaian-German relations, particularly in the area of economic cooperation and private capital flows, following the establishment of a German Chamber of Commerce Delegate Office and the successful organisation of a world class event in Ghana.
The Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), Mr Patrick Martens, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in an exclusive interview that a lot of work had been done in the last quarter of last year to sell Ghana to the German private sector which had shown strong interest in relating with Ghana.
“We had an Africa Roadsow in Germany in November last year during which the Delegate offices in Kenya, Angola, Nigeria and Ghana visited nine different locations in Germany, meeting with business associations and industries to market Africa, Ghana and West Africa. This is how AHK is helping promote the market,” Mr Martens explained.
He said following that road show coming at the back of the West Africa Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE), a lot of German companies that hitherto did not trade or have links in the region had expressed the interest in exploring opportunities in the West Africa sub-region.
Mr Martens said the year would also see some major German trade missions to Ghana in proportions that had not been seen between the two countries, which were expected to increase trade and investments in the medium to long term.
A lot of German, and indeed, European companies prefer to make Ghana their business hub to serve the rest of the West Africa sub-region, mainly due to the conducive business climate as well as the economic and political stability.
“We are happy about the awareness we’ve created about Ghana. The country is considered by the German business community as a niche market for certain industries – renewable energy and energy efficiency, agriculture and agro-processing, mining supplies as well as oil and gas services,” Mr Martens said.
He added, “this was a huge success and can really attract many German companies, especially those which so far do not have business connections to these markets.”
The Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, said this year several German trade missions were expected in the country from industrial regions of Germany, including the North Rhine Westphalia, which already has formal trade relations with Ghana, and Baden-Wuerttemberg.
He said the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, under which the AHK falls, and the German Foreign Ministry, would implement a project through the Delegate Office which would bring in about eight German companies to do a market survey of public lighting in Ghana.
He explained that the project would necessitate the arrival of a renewable energy and energy efficiency expert from Germany to work on these projects, renewable energy expert, saying “we will also recruit a young Ghanaian graduate and assigned to a special project.”
Ghana will also reciprocate there will be one Ghanaian mission to Germany, subsidised by the German government for selected institutions in the power and energy sector to abreast themselves of energy efficiency solutions that Germany offered the Ghanaian situation of power management.
Participants include GRIDCo, Volta River Authority (VRA), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Ghana who are expected to gain insight into network efficiency.
Reviewing last year’s first ever West Africa Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE’12), Mr Martens said the event lived up to expectation and had attracted attention from companies and a bigger event organiser who is ready to lift the fair to international standards.
“We had 68 exhibitors but have to increase the number to about 90 this year. WACEE 2012 attracted the interest of a world class German trade fair organiser which has organised fairs in Iran, Morocco, and Turkey. With their help, WACEE 2013 will attract exhibitors from these places, particularly China and Turkey.”
He explained that the event would come with changes in style, making it more internationally competitive, with focus on more renewable and conventional energy, energy efficiency, electrical engineering, lightening and automation.
The AHK would also collaborate with Fairtrade to convene the Agro Food West Africa and Printpack trade fairs in Ghana in December, this year.