Ghana wants duty free access to Indian market

"We are aware that the two countries have similar climatic conditions and apart from cocoa, almost all we produce here in Ghana do well in India and this means finding ways to improve our trade," Ghana's Minister of Trade Hannah Tetteh told IANS.

The ministry said Ghana wants to enjoy access to Indian markets under the African initiative that would grant a duty- and quota-free market to Ghanaian goods in order to balance the huge trade imbalance between the two countries.

Officials of the ministry told IANS they are aware that India has launched an African initiative which grants duty- and quota-free market access to Africa's least developed countries and expects Ghana to benefit from the facility.

Imports from India to Ghana increased to $314,491,460 at the end of 2009 from $307,534,508 in 2008. Ghana's exports to India have fluctuated between the lowest figure of $6.85 million in 2001 and the highest figure of $204.4 million in 2008, according to the ministry's figures made available to IANS.

Half of the 2008 figure is accounted for by cocoyam exports with a value of $105 million. India recorded the highest trade with Ghana  in 2007 with $373,584,347 while Ghana on the other hand recorded $75,502,691.

Tetteh said plans for the establishment of a Private Sector Strategic Board are being considered and when it is in place, "we would use it to further our trade into India."

The Ghana Export Development Board is drawing up a strategy to help Ghanaian exporters gain wider access to Indian markets. Officials of the ministry would not explain details of the strategy.

In addition, the ministry said, it is also considering the use of the Ghana-India Permanent Joint Commission as a vehicle to promote more trade from Ghana to India.

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