The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce says it is looking forward to revitalize trade relations between Ghana and Ethiopia as two countries who have historically engaged in commercial partnerships.
The President of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, Mesenbet Shenkute said this when she led a delegation to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority ahead of a trade facilitation conference in Addis Ababa.
According to her, the Ethio-Ghana International Conference on Trade and Finance, will give the opportunity for African countries to evaluate areas within the trade and logistics sector to take advantage of and maximise its full potential.
“With this conference a number of thoughts will be discussed, one of which is how African countries can work together to facilitate trade and we will also discuss on finance as well. So this is a very good opportunity for Ethiopia and Ghana. You are in the West and we are in the East, no matter what we have to start very good relationship with Ghana where we had long time standing relationship during those periods. So we came here to make you aware that we are going to have this conference and hopefully you will also join us,” she said.
She said, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is pivotal in international trade, hence, their reasons for exploring opportunities of partnership.
“This is a very essential area whereby if we are going to start import and export trade this port will be essential to facilitate trade relationship between the two business people in our countries. If we are going to start trade and finance relationship with Ghana, I’m sure we can grow together because our business people are exporting beyond these African countries we don’t have any kind of trade and finance relationship with most African countries, this is where we have to start,” Mesenbet Shenkute stated.
The Acting Director General of GPHA, Michael Luguje, who received the delegation, remarked that there is the need for more Intra-African trade as the current numbers are not encouraging. He said GPHA is open to engage Ethiopia in business.
“Intra-African trade is just 12%, this is too little. So how do we open up the continent so we can do more trade among ourselves, I think there’s a lot of debate in that area to start with, the traders can look at that. And once goods are going to come from Ethiopia to Ghana and from Ghana to Ethiopia in volume terms the best is the maritime route and I think gradually we should do better bi-laterally and then encourage other member states to join us,” Michael Luguje advised.
General Manager, Business Development of GPHA, Samuel Ntow-Kummi, said GPHA has with the essential infrastructure positioned itself to be a port for regional integration. Thus, can serve all potential partners and customers.
“We also want to promote our ports. We are building what we call the ECOWAS port. We are building a port that is at the centre of regional integration. We are looking beyond our boundaries. We are building a port that will be the first point of call for every vessel calling in West Africa, a hub that will promote trade and investment in the West African sub-region. It will be a good platform for him to also sell and market what we are doing here so we will support you,” he said.