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General News Sat, 24 Jun 2006

Work to remove barrier and customs delays - JAK

Accra, June 24, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has called on Government's in the West African Sub-Region to show stronger commitment and work closely together to reduce barrier and custom delays to boost trade among their countries.

He specifically mentioned, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Benin and said, he had no doubt that if this was done, business would boom among their peoples.

President Kufuor was speaking at a joint press conference with the Beninois President, Dr Yayi Boni, at the VIP Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport, before the latter's departure for his country after a two-day visit to Ghana on Saturday.

It was his first foreign travel since his inauguration about two months ago.

The two leaders during the visit reviewed the state of bilateral relations between their two countries and exchanged views on matters of common interest relating to the Sub-Region, regional and international issues.

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Dr Boni and his 26-member delegation also toured the Akosombo Dam site and were accompanied by President Kufuor and the wife Theresa. President Kufuor said even as the countries opened up to facilitate trade, it was important they worked together on matters of security, so that money laundering and other criminal activities would be prevented. He said he shared the vision of Dr Boni that the four nations should become the growth point of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) noting that, they were already, linked by a coastal road and a Gas Pipeline Project.

President Kufuor said Ghana was determined to double its energy capacity within the next four to five years and that it would share this with countries like Benin on the basis of commerce and not charity. President Boni described his visit as very successful, saying, he had learnt a lot and was returning to his country assured of genuine partnership with Ghana to meet the challenges of the millennium. He said Ghana had undergone tremendous positive change as a result of good leadership, sound fiscal and monetary management and its focus on private sector development.

He said he was particularly impressed about the level of estate development going on in the country through remittances from Ghanaians abroad.

President Boni has since left for Benin.

Source: GNA
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