Prez Mahama Opens UK-Ghana Trade & Investment Forum In London

President John Dramani Mahama says his administration has now placed a "high premium" on the processing of the country's "primary goods into finished ones, that will attract better prices and income to the country than its current state." This, he said, is part of the country's "economic transformation" aimed at halting the perennial exportation of raw materials to other countries. According to him, because of Ghana's over-dependence on cocoa and gold - the mainstay of the economy - anytime there is a fall in the prices of these two commodities on the international markets, the economy faces untold difficulties. Another macro-economic challenge that has and still continues to have a ripple effect on the country, he said, was the rise in wage bills from three million to nine million Ghana Cedis three years ago. Addressing the opening session of the UK-Ghana Trade & Investment Forum at the Grosvenor Square Hotel, London, as part of his four-day official visit to the United Kingdom, Ghana's President therefore explained that the bailout being sought from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to help government transform the structure of the economy and also steer clear of the recurrent difficulties that rears its ugly head whenever the prices of cocoa and gold plummet on the world market. The forum, a one day event tackling the various obstacles to economic growth in Ghana, is centring on the country's economic outlook and overview. Discussion on issues relating to the energy sector, investment, agriculture, manufacturing, extractives and infrastructure are currently on-going. 500 business representatives from the United Kingdom, Ghana and other countries in Europe are at the forum. President Mahama also used the opportunity to call on investors from the international community to work hand in hand with government to accelerate Ghana's infrastructural development saying. He stressed that there are limitless opportunities for investment in Ghana in spite of some macro-economic challenges experienced recently saying this is so because of the country's known political stability, good governance and the rule of law. "To move Ghana into a full-fledged middle income economy, government is looking at these major areas of co-operation with investors; Transportation, Housing, Ports and Harbours and Telecommunications...Agriculture, Energy and Gas and Oil, are also other available areas for investment," he stated.