The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has asked Spanish investors to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, saying the start of trading will provide a big opportunity for Spanish businesses.
She further encouraged Spain to consider the development of strategic anchor industries in Ghana such as the petro-chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing of machinery and machine components, industrial chemicals, the integrated aluminum industry, iron and steel, among other things.
Ms Botchwey said this when she received the Spanish Deputy Foreign Minister, Madam Cristina Gallach Figureas, who led a delegation of eleven officials to Ghana to hold bilateral discussions.
The Minister-designate noted Spain’s foreign policy on Africa, as embodied in the 3rd Spanish African Plan, and welcomed the willingness to engage the continent in the area of trade and investment.
It is in this direction that she underscored the need for Ghana and Spain to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in the areas of gender equality, education, mining, pharmaceuticals, vehicle parts manufacturing, ceramics, entrepreneurship and football training.
Additionally, Ms Botchwey observed that although the Spanish side ratified the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in October 2006 and was awaiting Ghana’s reciprocal ratification, a renegotiation of the BIT would be in the interest of both parties.
This, she explained, has become necessary since there has been a change in Ghana’s investment regulatory environment, the adoption of the Pan African Investment Code and an evolution in international best practices.
On the maritime sector, Ms Botchwey thanked the Spanish government for all the contributions made towards maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, including the release of the Patrol Vessel SERVIOLA for periodic patrols on the Gulf of Guinea to stop drug smuggling and piracy.
She briefed the Spanish envoy about President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s intention to play a leadership role in the state of affairs in the Gulf of Guinea by organising a summit involving member states of the Gulf of Guinea under the aegis of the Gulf of Guinea Commission to ensure collective security in the region at a yet to be confirmed date.
On climate change matters, the Foreign Minister-designate requested Spain to support Ghana to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
She reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to enhancing the existing warm relations between Ghana and Spain for mutual benefit.