Business News of 2014-08-01

Ghana-Korea relations growing steadily

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Ghana, Mr Kyun Jea-min, has described relations between Ghana and South Korea “as remarkable”, stressing that the international cooperation between the two countries has grown steadily since Korea first established diplomatic relations with Ghana in 1977.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, he said during the period, various initiatives had been undertaken towards strengthening the existing warm bilateral relations and enhancing political, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Kyun said Korea had become increasingly attractive to Ghana as a source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, as well as the sharing of knowledge and expertise, leading to significant contributions towards ongoing economic development between the two countries.

Trade volumes The Korean envoy pointed out that trade volumes between Ghana and Korea rose to $395 million last year, with Korea importing cocoa and fish from Ghana and exporting spare parts and cars to Ghana, stressing that the economic prospects between the two countries were “very bright”.

According to him, Korea’s grants to Ghana had enabled Ghana to provide goods and services for key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, gender, health, power transmission, education and e-administration for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to improve efficiency and productivity in the public sector.

He said the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) had been undertaking many projects over the years, with some recent examples of the cooperation being the Dawhenya Integrated Rural Development Project which was successfully completed last April, the ongoing maternal and child healthcare project, a water and sanitation (WASH) project in the Volta Region and a capacity-building project on power transmission system.

Training opportunities Mr Kyun added that from 1991 to 2013, the Korean government had, through the KOICA, provided short-term training opportunities for 438

Ghanaian farmers, teachers and public officials under the Global Fellowship Programme and the Country-specific Fellowship Programme and also offered opportunities to 71 public officials to pursue master’s degrees under the KOICA scholarship programme.

According to him, the Korean National Institute for International Education (NIIED) was running another scholarship programme dubbed the Global Korea Scholarship Programme (GKSP), saying every year about 10 Ghanaian students were sponsored to Korea for undergraduate, doctorate and Master’s degree programmes.

He emphasised that in 2011, Korea designated Ghana and Nigeria as its two priority destinations in West Africa for its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). The ODA grant from Korea to Ghana has doubled since 1991, amounting to $24.18 million from 1991 to 2014. He also said Koreans resident in Ghana had been active in the country’s fishing industry through private Korean companies such as AFKO.

He said about 500 Koreans out of about 700 living in Tema were still engaged in fishing, while others were expanding their contribution to the Ghanaian economy in the fields of construction, manufacturing, trade and services.

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