We Prefer Trade, Investment To Aid, Assistance – Pres Tells Devt Partners

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the country’s development partners to cut back on the aid and assistance and redirect their attention towards trade and investment in Ghana.

“It’s not that we don’t appreciate the aid; we do. But we think that the long term future of our country is best assured if we are standing on our own feet and are capable of organising our public finances in such a way that we can deal with the basic matters ourselves.”

“It is much more interesting for us to attract private sector and equity investment in Ghana. That is the profile that my government is trying to give to the world. Our country is open for business, we are more interested in trade and investment than aid,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo made these remarks when the outgoing Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, Maria Jesus Alonso, called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra to bid him farewell.

He said the Ghana-Spain relationship had been cordial for the past 50 years and indicated that the economic relations between the two countries were significantly enhanced when he was foreign minister in the Kufuor administration.

The President said he took pride in his contribution in enhancing Ghana’s relationship with Spain and stressed the need for both countries to look for areas to further deepen their ties.
He commended the contribution of Spain to Ghana’s development in the provision of water and boreholes in rural communities and added that the Spanish government had actively supported Ghana in many areas.

According to President Akufo-Addo, his major concern as President of Ghana was to open up the economy for private sector investment and growth and create jobs for the youth.

He said the One District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, among others, were major programmes that would create opportunities for private sector investment and urged the outgoing ambassador to encourage more investors from her country to invest in Ghana.

“We wish you the best of luck in your new undertaking. One of these days, when I can get few minutes for myself, I am determined to come to the Santiago Bernabeu to see Real Madrid play football. It has been my team when I was a little boy. It is a treat I have promised myself”.

“Please extend my best wishes to the King and the Prime Minister and tell them that they have a fond friend in Ghana and that my government is ready to continue the strong relationship,” he said.

On her part, Ms Alonso said the 50-year Ghana-Spain diplomatic relationship had been excellent, especially in the areas of trade and commerce.

She said there were over 40 Spanish companies in Ghana and commended the government for its decision to attract more trade and investment in the country.