Ghana’s exports to Morocco stood at $7.4 million as of 2016, representing less than one per cent of the country’s total exports, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkora, has said.
However, imports from Morocco for the same period amounted to $87.9 million, he said.
“It is obvious that the trade potential of the two countries remains largely untapped, hence there is the need to deepen bilateral relations to reverse the less than satisfactory trend,” Mr Ahenkora said at the first Africa Power Road Symposium in Accra.
“Ghana and Morocco have had trade relations with trade and investment countries visiting both countries at various times. However, trade flows between our two countries have not been favourable over the past five years,” Mr Ahenkora said.
Consequently, Mr Ahenkora said the government would support local businesses to identify partners in Morocco, facilitate their efforts to develop and grow existing businesses and also enable them to create new ventures that would significantly increase their wealth-creation capacities.
Visit by King Mohammed VI
According to Mr Ahenkora, the government has already strengthened its diplomatic relationship with its Moroccan counterparts following a three-day working visit of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco and a business delegation that came to the country this year.
The deputy trade minister said over 26 memoranda of understanding (MoU) were signed between the two countries during the visit.
“The visit was towards enhancing trade and investment relations for the mutual benefit of the two countriest,” Mr Ahenkora stated.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, said the chamber would partner with relevant stakeholders to help improve trade between the two countries.
“Both governments of Ghana and Morocco have committed themselves to deepening bilateral trade for mutual economic growth and development. It is our hope that businessmen and women gathered here will maximise this opportunity to grow their businesses through partnerships,” he said.
Mr Badu-Aboagye indicated that the chamber, as the representative of the private sector in the country, would continue to engage the government and other stakeholders to ensure that the enabling business environment was improved to sustain business growth.
Morocco is committed
The CEO of Morocco Export, Mrs Zahra Maafiri, said Morocco was committed to its sub-Saharan partners through concrete actions.
She observed that those partnerships, led by major Moroccan private groups, had benefited vital sectors for the modernisation of some African economies and several models of the economic partnerships were success stories.
“In Ghana, for example, there are three Moroccan big groups that have invested and established their companies here,” she said.
The forum was aimed at promoting trade relations between Ghana and Morocco on a win-win basis through partnerships between the companies of the two respective countries.
Representatives of over 80 Moroccan companies in different sectors, including banking, building and civil engineering chemicals and para-chemicals, energy and infrastructure, were present at the forum.