British businesses seek local partnerships

Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science Adam Afriyie during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2009. See PA story. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, Adam Afriyie, has said the special relationship that exists between Ghana and the UK provides a unique platform that can be taken advantage of by businesses in the two countries.

Adam Afriyie, who is also the Member of Parliament for Windsor, UK, speaking to the B&FT on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Business is Great’ initiative in Accra recently said: “British companies have vast expertise that can really be of immense benefit to their counterparts here in Ghana”.

According to him, ‘Business is Great’ seeks to highlight the UK capabilities in Healthcare, Technology, Creative Industries, Education, Extractives (including mining and Oil and Gas), Agritechnology, Financial, Legal and Professional services.

“…The UK has so much to offer in these sectors and we want Ghanaian companies to benefit. The reason that ‘Business is Great’ is important to Ghana is because the country is no different from the UK — similar legal systems, same language, shared history etc.

“Ghana is a country that demands innovation. The UK can help provide that: it rightly has a reputation as a global centre for digital technologies, with world-leading academics and businesses working in media, Internet, communications and cyber security.

“So it has one of the world’s strongest and most advanced communications sectors. London has become the FinTech capital of the world, with more people employed in the sector than any other city worldwide, including New York..,” he said.

Mr. Afriyie stated that Ghana possesses a wealth of well-educated people, of natural resources, and there’s a wealth of knowledge about small-scale agriculture production yet it’s unable to add value to some of its exports.

“So where Britain can really assist is if the British business were to look at the Northern Region of Ghana and has the expertise to come over and invest and demonstrate how one can add value in the next stage of processing agricultural products; so that they can actually be self-sufficient rather than exporting unprocessed products and reimporting the processed goods, which is quite an inefficient way to go,” he stated.

There are a range of areas — traditional areas around energy, mining, roads and infrastructure — and they also extend to education, agrochemicals, and many financial services, he added.

“We are hoping to expose ourselves within the coming period, and then we will identify very specific areas where, actually, UK businesses and investors can really add value.

“I know that the UKTI team here at the British High Commission receive many enquiries from Ghanaian companies who are looking for innovative solutions. We want to build on that and provide a free digital service to buyers — to extend our outreach, and match-up UK and Ghanaian businesses more effectively. The demand is here and UK companies can supply: there are over 20,000 suppliers in Healthcare, Creative Industries and Education alone. Just outline the products and services you need and we will match them with the right British Businesses,” he said.


Source: B & FT

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