Ghanaian delegation in Netherlands to explore business opportunities

Accra, A 23-member trade delegation from Ghana is currently on a week-long tour through the Netherlands to explore opportunities for business and cooperation in food processing technologies and packaging.

A statement from the Netherlands Embassy said the mission was being led by the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and GhanaVeg.

The goal of the trade mission is to promote cooperation, investment and knowledge exchange between Ghanaian and Dutch businesses.

The delegation is visiting a wide range of companies active in poultry, aquaculture, fruit and vegetables processing in the Netherlands.

The programme is complemented with matchmaking, a visit to the Interpak fair in Dusseldorf, business networking events and a packaging workshop.

The trade mission is a follow up mission last year to the Netherlands on food and beverage processing and agricultural inputs.

The mission complements the efforts of the Netherlands on private sector development in Ghana’s agricultural sector, a sector accounting for over 20 per cent of Ghana’s GDP.

Stimulating food processing could help reduce post-harvest losses and contribute to increased trade in products less dependent on cold chains and phytosanitary inspection.

The Netherlands is among Ghana’s biggest trade partners and the second largest exporter of agri-food worldwide, exporting 65 billion euros worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat and dairy products each year.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana, H.E. Ron Strikker: said This trade mission resonates well with the government’s renewed focus on promoting agriculture, value addition and industrialization. The mission is yet another example of how the Netherlands and Ghana are growing together.

Nana Osei Bonsu, CEO of PEF said: It is our hope that the Ghanaian companies participating in this trade mission will not only receive accurate information on availability of new markets and valuable networking opportunities from participants from the Kingdom of Netherlands and other partaking countries, but may also be privileged with viable partnerships including financing and innovative technologies to enhance their businesses in the near future.

Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, CEO of AGI said: This exposure visit to the Netherlands is most appropriate for AGI members in the wake of government of Ghana’s numerous initiatives to support the growth of the industrial sector and ensuring stronger linkage between industry and agriculture.

Ms Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Deputy Programme Leader for GhanaVeg said: The mission resonates with what GhanaVeg seeks to achieve: a sector that is driven and led by private actors.

To achieve this goal, she said, there was the need for deliberate aggregation of sector actors to broker new and sustainable business relationships that will transcend into a more vibrant and innovative horticultural sector, which this trade mission aims to realise.

The mission has come at such an opportune time for Ghanaian horticultural businesses to learn and collaborate from their counterparts in the Netherlands.

The trade mission is commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and implemented by the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC) and the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC).

Source: Ghana News Agency

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Ghana Auctioneers Association summons Alexander Adjei

Accra, The Ghana Auctioneers Association (GAA) has referred Mr Alexander Adjei of Alex Mart, a licensed auctioneer, to the Disciplinary Committee after he auctioned unserviceable vehicles of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

This came to light when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament about two weeks ago.

The GAA said this in a statement signed by Mr Calvis Okine, the President of the Association, and copied the Ghana News Agency on Monday.

The statement said upon interrogation of the auctioneer, the GAA noted that there were no adverts on the auction notice on the sold vehicles and actually there was no public auction.

It said it was, therefore, wrong on the part of the auctioneer to be remunerated with seven per cent commission of the total proceeds.

His remuneration will fall under the PNDC Law 230 section 30 subsection 2, and that is supposed to give the Auctioneer an amount not exceeding three per cent on gross proceeds of sale, the statement said.

The GAA has, therefore, called on the member to immediately refund the extra four per cent to the vendor.

The statement said with these infringements on the Auction Sales Act, Mr Alexander Adjei of Alex Mart has been referred to the Disciplinary Committee for necessary sanction, and should take the impending refresher course on auctioneering seriously.

The GAA reminded the public that auctioneers are not valuers, they conduct auction sales to the public, and values stated on the vehicles are not done by auctioneers.

Recognised Valuers (Licensed) are invited by the Vendors to conduct the valuations � not the auctioneers. After the Valuers, like those in the STC; finish their work, the report is sent to the Vendor who commissioned the valuation, the statement said.

It said: The vendor goes through the valuation report to satisfy him or herself before appointing the auctioneer, with attached conditions of sale among other important documents.

The statement said the auctioneer and the vendor would then agree on the date of auction before the auctioneer would go ahead with the process of auctioning, adding; with the government vehicles under the Chief of Staff, it is worthy of note that there are Valuers at the Office of the Chief of Staff, who also satisfy themselves with the values (reserve prices) on the vehicles.

The GAA said it was rather surprising to lay blame on the auctioneer for low reserve prices on such vehicles and that the valuer should be invited by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament for explanation on those low prices on the vehicles.

The Association assured the public that it was currently preparing itself for rebranding before the year ends and was, among other things, drafting a new constitution and code of conduct to bring a new phase of auctioneering very soon.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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Government would construct 1200 kilometres of rail

Durban (S/A) � Mr Joe Ghartey, the Minister of Railways Development, has said Government would in the next three and a half years construct approximately 1200 kilometres of rail to boost Ghana’s economy.

He said: The building of a modern railway network coupled with our programme of developed associated rail infrastructure under the programme. From Stations to Cities, seeks to take advantage of the rail network to bring accelerated economic development to the rail corridors to transform Ghana’s economy.

This programme of developing associated infrastructure including new industrial estates, inland rail terminal, new suburban housing and commercial centres all create opportunities for investors, he said.

Mr Ghartey said this in an address read on behalf of the Vice President Mahamadu Bawaumia at the AI CEO African Pension And Sovereign Wealth Fund Leaders’ Summit held on May 2 in Durban, South Africa.

The summit on the theme: Facilitating Pension Fund Investment Partnership with African Asset Owners, aimed to focus on investment strategies and governance and showcase institutional-grade opportunities and instruments to de-risk and catalyse global and African institutional capital.

He said in the energy sector, government had announced a policy to move to new power projects from terminal to renewable energy with a focus on solar and bio energy to offer opportunities for investors.

He noted that at the last AI Heads of State Investment Working Lunch, mobilising Africa’s sovereign wealth and pensions funds for investment across the continent over the next 10 years was a stated priority outcome, with the clear aim to track and boost intra-Africa investments from its current low level of five per cent of total stock to 60 per cent over the next ten years.

Unfortunately, the pension sector in Africa is not as large as it ought to be. With the exception of South Africa, the Africa continent is on the fringes of the global pensions industry, Mr Ghartey said.

According to the Global Pension Assets Study, the 10 biggest African markets comprise a combined asset value of $37bn and half of these assets the study said are held in South Africa.

In Nigeria, the value of pension fund assets under the management as a proportion if GDP is five per cent. This compares rather poorly with some countries where pension fund assets under the management as a proportion of GDP is more than 100 per cent

Mr Ghartey said the bright side of the low pension penetration rate was that there were opportunities for growth.

In Ghana, for example, the assets under management of the pensions fund industry grew fivefold form 2008 to 2014.

Thus whilst Africa adopts measures to increase pension penetration it must also take steps to create an enabling environment for other pension funds, including US and Global Pension Funds and Institutional Investors.

It is clear from the above that private sector investment has been identified as being key to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Africa. It is important therefore that clear strategies are developed to attract African sovereign wealth funds and pension funds for investment across Africa”, he said.

He expressed Government’s commitment to partner the private sector to accelerate development hence the implementation of programmes that sought to move Ghana’s economy from focusing on taxation to focusing on development.

We are ready as a nation for investment and we are confident that our investment and business friendly legal and institutional framework, political stability, improving and expanding economy, availability of investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector provides an interesting cocktail of opportunity for investors in Ghana, he said.

Also at the summit were Mr Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng-Deputy Minister of Railways Development, Mr Mohammed Habib Tijani- Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Solomon Asamoah- CEO of Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and Mr Yoofi Grant- CEO of GIPC.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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