TNN, Mar 15, 2007, 12.23am IST
KOLKATA: Ghana is keen to revive jute cultivation in the country. It intends to do so for meeting its requirement of packaging cocoa beans.
With jute cultivation in the country nearly extinct, the country being one of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa in the world, now imports gunny bags from India and Bangladesh for packaging cocoa beans.
Addressing an interactive session here recently on Indo-Ghana joint business forum, organised by CII (eastern region), high commissioner of the Republic of Ghana, John Bentum Williams said Ghana wants active support from the West Bengal government in helping to revive jute cultivation and jute-based industry in his country.
This apart, there are other areas like pharmaceuticals, energy and financial services where partnership could be built between companies based in Ghana and West Bengal, he said.
Inviting Indian investment to Ghana, Mr Williams said the World Bank in its latest annual report on Africa has identified Ghana as the most preferred destination for foreign investment among all African countries.
The country has received applaud from World Bank for initiating a slew of reforms, encouraging foreign capital in the country, he said. Referring particularly to business cooperation from West Bengal, Mr Williams said Ghana intends to have such co-operation in the small and medium industries sector where the Indian state has developed expertise.
However, West Bengal wants to extend the areas of co-operation to horticulture, food processing, machinery manufacturing and mining, said Nirupam Sen, the state minister of commerce and industry, while delivering keynote address to the session.
India's trade with Ghana has been on the increase over the past six years. Its export to Ghana increased 9.7% to $200.8 million and imports from Ghana was up 56% to $79 million in 2005-06. India largely exports products like automobiles, tractors, two-wheelers, LPG cylinders, machinery and electrical goods to Ghana.