Ghana and Netherlands have expressed satisfaction with their increasing level of cooperation, and jointly affirmed their decision to strengthen the linkages in the different areas of relations to boost cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on political consultation has therefore been signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ghana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The objective of the agreement is to establish a mechanism for regular political consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The signing took place on Tuesday during the Ghana-Netherlands inaugural Political Consultations, the Foreign Affairs Ministry disclosed this in a statement.
The meeting was led on the Ghana side by the Coordinating Director/Political and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador, Mrs. Hannah Nyarko and on the Dutch side by the Deputy Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Department of Netherlands, Ms. Martine Van Hoogstraten.
Ghana and the Netherlands have maintained diplomatic relations since 1701, which have enabled the two countries to develop a common history and interconnecting cultures, resulting in our shared values.
Over the years, cooperation between our two countries have traversed different sectors, including trade and investment.
“Netherlands is the 5th largest export destination for Ghana in the world. Ghana’s exports to the Netherlands are predominantly primary and semi-finished goods, which include cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa paste, crude petroleum, cocoa powder, among others. Imports from the Netherlands include refined petroleum, poultry meat, excavation machinery and packaged medicaments, among others,” it said.
Ghana recorded favourable balance of trade from 2016 to 2019 with a trade surplus of $406 million dollars in 2018.
“This favourable position could be attributed to the increase in the export of Ghana’s Crude Oil to the Netherlands. In 2019, Ghana recorded a positive trade balance of $734.8 million with estimated exports of $966.3 million to the Netherlands. This figure however decreased to $759.7 million in 2020, whilst the Netherlands exports to Ghana increased from $231.5 million in 2019 to $876.5 million dollars in 2020, recording a surplus of $116.8 million,” portions of the statement indicated.
The Ghana-Netherlands bilateral cooperation concentrates on sectors of mutual interest, selected based on the interest of the Dutch private sector and on relevance for the development of Ghana, it said.
“Within this framework, the Dutch government selected sectors such as water and agriculture, especially horticulture and cocoa, where Dutch companies have a lot to offer in terms of technology, knowledge, market access and a strong position on the world market,” it explained.
The first edition of the Ghana-Netherlands Political Dialogue convened with participants from the Foreign Ministries of the two countries as well as relevant national stakeholders of Ghanaian Ministries, Departments and Agencies and representatives of concerned institutions in the Netherlands.
Issued discussed centred on Defence and Security, Migration and Development, Trade and Investment, the benefits of the AfCFTA, Agriculture, Science and Technology as well as Environment and Climate Change and Human Rights. The discussions also touched on issues relating to Education, Culture and Training as well as Cooperation within the United Nations (UN) System.