Business News of 2014-04-01

Animal imports from Burkina Faso cost Ghana GH¢14m in 2011

Ghana spent about GH¢14 million to import live animals from neighbouring Burkina Faso in 2011, data from the Burkinabe Ministry of Commerce has showed. This translates into 2.5 billion CFA using an exchange rate of GH¢5.54 to 1,000 CFA as provided by Oanda Currency Converter, an online currency converting medium, as of Thursday, March 28.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Commerce in Burkina Faso, Mr Zougouri Bernard, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on March 27 that the GH¢14 million is one such amount spent by Ghana to import goods, mostly consumables, plastic and packaging materials, among others, from that country.

"Trade between Ghana and Burkina is always on the increase. We (Burkina Faso) import mostly finished goods from Ghana and Ghana also imports foodstuff such as cereals, fruits and vegetables, animal products and the rest from us," he said through a translator.

Mr Bernard spoke to the paper on the sidelines of the ongoing Solo Exhibition of Made-in-Ghana products in Ouagadougou, where some 50 companies are showcasing their wares to the Burkinabe.

The exhibition, the fifth of its kind, was organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with support from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Export Development and Agricultural Fund (EDAIF). It is on the theme 'Promoting Regional Integration Through Trade' and would run from March 27 to April 2.

Trading statistics

Trade between Ghana and Burkina Faso, which is the country's closest northern neighbour, has been ongoing since pre-colonial days. That is mainly because of the nearness of the Upper East Region to the southern part of Burkina Faso.

The volumes of trade have been increasing as the years go by. Data made available to the paper by the Burkinabe Ministry of Commerce showed that Ghana has been depending heavily on Burkina Faso for foodstuffs and other agricultural products, since growth in the country’s agricultural sector have taken a nose dive over the past few years.

Imports of grains, fruits and related products rose from some GH¢64.25 million (11.49 billion CFA) in 2011 to some GH¢82.63 million in 2012 (14.9 billion CFA), the data showed.

It further indicated that Burkina Faso's exports to Ghana were valued at GH¢129.12 million (23.3 billion) in 2011 but rose to some GH¢170.2 million (30.72 billion) in 2012 on the back of Ghana's increased importation of grains, vegetables and fruits, among others in that year.

On the other hand, Ghana's exports to Burkina Faso were valued at about GH¢175 million (31.58 billion CFA) in 2011 but rose to GH¢274.49 million (4954 billion CFA) in 2012, according to the data.

Common railway

In the wake of the increasing trade volumes between the two countries, the Director of Policy, Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Parker Allotey, said there was the need for the two countries to work towards reducing the various hindrances that made it difficult for trade to flourish among them.

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