The Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Birender Singh has assured, his country’s economic relationship with Ghana will blossom despite the economic challenges they are facing back home.
India’s government has currently signed numerous bilateral agreements with Ghana including a US$25. 4 million for the purchasing of raw materials for the revamped Komenda sugar factory, Singh disclosed.
He conceded India is currently challenged on the economic front at home but that is not a hindrance to the fruitful relationship between the two countries since he considers their domestic challenges as rather temporary.
An IMF report of January 16, revealed the world’s largest democracy in terms of population has lost its position as the fastest growing economy.
This was due to, what the report termed, a temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions.
Explaining the situation to Goldstreet Business, the High Commissioner said his government had to take measures to reduce corruption and the use of counterfeit currency, which are major problems in the country and that has accounted for the crises.
He assured the problem is a temporary one, and will not affect the various projects undertaken by the Indian Government here in Ghana.
“Ghana’s new government has promised to create a more conducive environment for investments, so we are set to bring in more investors. We will be happy to receive any proposal from the current government for developmental projects,” Singh said.
The High Commissioner spoke on the various key programmes the two countries are currently involved in. On electricity connection in Ghana, he revealed that US$398 million has been advanced to Ghana by India for power generation from hydro projects.
“We have also discussed a US$115 million mechanization project for the agricultural sector. We are waiting for the new minister to be approved by Parliament and then we will start working on the project as well,” he said
Another US$2 million contract agreement has been signed between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana and the government of India to test a total of 14 varieties of tomato plants with about 25000 transplantations covering seven open field cultivation and seven varieties under controlled conditions in a polyhouse.
The research project is expected to determine high yielding varieties in three different climatic zones in Ghana. The first phase is nearing completion in Kumasi and the third phase would soon commence in Navrongo. The tomatoes are said to have longer lifespan and shelf life. After the research the seeds will be made available to farmers to boost their yields and profits.
About cultural ties between the two countries, Singh said, “there is a huge bonding between us and we are here to help realize the pan-African dream originated in Ghana by DR. Kwame Nkrumah.
“The India-Ghana relations are very robust and we have an excellent relationship,” he said.
He revealed that so far, 230 government officials have been sent to India to be trained in various capacities and over 300 more are set to be sent for training by the end of 2017.
“Our visa acquiring system has been made very liberal to enable businessmen to travel to India to do business” stated the High Commissioner.
The Indian High Commission is set to commemorate 60 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Ghana next week. The event commences on January 25, coinciding with the 68th Republic Day of India.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India is expected to lead a business delegation to Ghana in March for business discussions with the Ghanaian government.
By Nana Oye Ankrah