ACCRA– Ghana is gradually becoming a trans-shipment hub in West Africa following expansion works carried out at the Tema Port near Accra, says Anthony Firmin, the Chief Operating Officer of Hapag Llyod, the German transportation giant which is one of the world’s biggest shipping lines.

The growth of Tema Port will further reinforce the role of Ghana as a hub for West Africa, he told a media conference here Wednesday to announce the official opening of the shipping line’s new offices located in Tema.

Firmin said Hapag-LLoyd chose to base its West Africa operations in Ghana because the country was not only politically and legally stable, but was business-friendly, making many multinationals in West Africa to set up their regional offices here.

Ghana’s strong regional setting also offered a springboard into Africa and access to market of 350 million inhabitants in the West Africa sub-region.

Noting that Hapag-Lloyd had over the past three years offered expertise and support in the exportation and importation of perishable items such as yam, fruits and fish to Europe and across the globe, he was also pleased that the company’s enhanced presence in West Africa was showing signs of success.

Our West African Express (WAX) service to and from West Africa has been operating with extraordinary success for several years and is very well received by customers. With our new East Africa Service (EAS), connecting all major trades globally via our hub in Saudi Arabia with Kenya and Tanzania, we have entered another new trade,” he added.

As a result, we are tying Africa even more closely to our global network while benefiting at the same time from positive economic development in large parts of Africa.”

He said Ghana was among the fastest growing economies in the region, adding that its growth was primarily driven by the trade in gold and oil and gas products. He also expected Ghana’s ports handling capacity to triple by mid-2019, from one million to three million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).