The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has underscored the need for Ghana and Mexico to deepen their economic relations, by making full use of the Ghana-Mexico Business and Cultural Chamber.
Receiving open letters from the Ambassador-designate of Mexico to Ghana, Enrique Ernesto Escorza Zamudio, she recalled the long-standing historical relations that exist between the two countries, dating back to August 1961 when Mexico became the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Ghana.
Ms Botchwey indicated that Ghana-Mexico relations had always remained cordial based on solidarity and mutual respect she therefore noted Ghana’s readiness to continue working closely with Mexico within the framework of multilateral organisations to protect and advance the interest of developing nations in an increasingly challenging global environment.
Referring to the 2nd Session of the Political Consultation on Matters of Common Interest held virtually last July, the Minister hoped that it would continue to be a reliable medium for the two countries to forge a stronger and a more sustained political dialogue.
Ms Botchwey acknowledged the great potential that still exists for educational cooperation between Mexico and Ghana in areas of common interest such as academic exchanges, scholarships, research and technical collaboration.
“I am grateful for the annual scholarships granted by the Mexican government to young diplomats to study Spanish in Mexico and express the hope that the course could evolve into a fully-fledged diplomatic training programme, with a language component,” she said.
On the fight against COVID-19, she noted that the voice of Mexico could help ensure that developing countries, including Ghana, have equitable access to life-saving vaccines at reasonable cost as the matter required international cooperation.
Wishing him a successful stay in the country, Ms Botchwey assured the Ambassador-designate of the government’s preparedness to cooperate with him and Mexico for enhanced bilateral relations.
Austria Open Letters
Also in her statement to receive the open letters from Ambassador-designate of the Republic of Austria to Ghana, Thomas Schlesinger, she also acknowledged the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation, which exists between Ghana and Austria, founded on mutual commitment to peaceful co-existence.
Ms Botchwey referred to the Austrian Trade Mission to Ghana in March 2020, and urged the Ambassador to encourage Austrian companies to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to increase Austria’s trade engagement on the continent, with Ghana as the entry point.
“Ghana welcomes more collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries as well as more technical cooperation in the areas of agriculture, food processing and renewable energy,” the Foreign Minister said.
“We are satisfied with the increasing collaboration between Ghanaian and Austrian defense authorities through technical exchanges such as training support extended by Austrian Experts to dog handlers from Ghana as well as the technical cooperation the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) receives from Austria,” she added.
Explaining the “Ghana Beyond Aid” vision, she said is driven by a resolve to harness its immense potential and resources to transform the economy as well as self-finance its development through increased trade and investment.
She informed the Ambassador-designate of the government’s strong drive to industrialise Ghana’s economy through programmes such as the One District, One Factory (1D1F), Planting for Food and Jobs, which are all anchored on the Beyond Aid Agenda.
Ms Botchwey therefore urged the Ambassador-designate to work hard to bring more Austrian businesses to Ghana since the country provides a conducive environment for investments.