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Bilateral Trade between Ghana and Italy reached a record high of over €800 million in 2022, up from the €520 million recorded in 2021, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Daniela d’Orlandi has indicated.
She said this figure is expected to be exceeded in 2023 as all indications point to the fact that trade between the two countries keep growing.
Speaking in an interview with the Graphic Business on the sidelines of the 8th edition of the Italian Cuisine Week celebrations in Accra, she said there was a strong trade relation between the two countries, as the embassy and the Italian Trade Agency keeps putting in place measures to promote partnerships between Ghanaian companies and their Italian counterparts.
“The private sector in Ghana is extremely important to us and we have a special focus on agro business sector. Ghana has a lot of raw materials, and natural resources and the country could benefit from Italians technology and expertise to add value to the raw materials.
“Italy is the second industrial country of the European Union and we hope to help industrialise the Ghanaian economy,” she stated.
Ms d’Orlandi said the embassy has been helping Ghanaian businesses to participate in trade fairs in Italy all in a bid to open up export opportunities for them as well.
Trade has been stable
Also speaking in an interview, the Director of the Italian Trade Agency for West Africa, Dr Alessandro Gerbino, said trade between Italy and Ghana had been stable in the past few years.
He said the Italian government had Africa as one of its key focus areas, noting that its recent national priority plan has a special plan for promotion of economic ties with Africa.
“And within this plan, Ghana is certainly a central point as it is the preferential entry point for west Africa due to the characteristics of the Ghanaian economy which has high level of compatibility with Italy.
“Ghana needs to build its private sector and add value to its local natural resources from both agriculture and mining. Italy is very strong in supporting the manufacturing industry by bringing technologies that can help any company and particularly SMEs through a pattern of growth,” he stated.
He said in agri-business space for instance, Italy was a major player worldwide in the entire value chain, boasting of excellent companies across the world.“We have strong expertise in that sector and ready to share with Ghana by bringing all the technology required for food production,” he added.
Commenting on the current economic challenges in Ghana, Dr Gerbino, said Ghana was still small and medium size economy and due to this, it was exposed to the international prices and fluctuations but the message that the agency always gives to Italian businesses is that Ghana should be approached with a medium to long term view.
“In the short term, it may happen that the economy goes up and down, it may happen that the currency is not stable, but Ghana has serious fundamentals in the economy that make it a preferable country for partnership West Africa so we encourage the companies not to be scared about the fluctuations in the short term but look at the medium to long term,” he said.
The Italian Cuisine Week was organised to showcase Italian recipes and wines from over 20 wine producing regions in Italy.The celebration brought together guests from government ministries and agencies, the business community, the diplomatic corps, and some selected food and wine enthusiasts.