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General News Wed, 7 Apr 1999

US Delegation Expresses Readiness to Work in Ghana

Accra (Greater Accra) 7 April '99

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The visiting 34-member U.S. business delegation to Ghana said on Tuesday that it is looking forward to making Ghana a hub of its activities to serve the entire West African sub-region. The delegation from the Bay Area Africa Initiative, which arrived in the country on April Four, said it is interested in a reciprocal arrangement with governments and private business institutions ready to work with it. Areas mentioned for business co-operation include linkages in health, housing, education, trade, the liberalised skies programme and product imports to Ghana. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, leader of the delegation, told a business matchmaking luncheon in Accra that one important area for the delegation is a sister-city arrangement between San Francisco City and the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi. This is intended to bring the two cities together in order to promote business and development. Madam Lee said the team came to Ghana because "most trade missions from Ghana or outside the U.S. usually go only to Washington DC, New York, and sometimes Atlanta, leaving the rest of the country". "Those of us outside these areas do not receive the main menu of the major trade delegations hence this trip to explore the best areas and avenues for business, trade and development partnership". Welcoming the delegation, Mr Solomon Abam Quartey, First Vice-President of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described the visit as timely in that it comes after "profound changes in Ghana's macro- economic environment". The private sector in Ghana is pleased that inflation is falling and is dragging down interest rates, he said. Mr Quartey told the delegation that the economy is growing steadily and that the private sector is trusting that the liberalised economic regime will result in progressive economic development with the support and goodwill of willing partners. Mr David Alexander, General Counsel of the Bay Area Africa Initiative, said the group is highly interested in the Ghanaian economy. "In this programme, we will want to have some partnership arrangement with Ghana Airways and another one which also organises intra city flights so as to make us easily accessible to the whole continent with our co- operation programme".

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