Ghana is a success story in terms of her democratic development, rule of law, economic growth, and what has been a difficult process of real facilitation and integration of Africa, Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Julian Ventura, has said.
He said Ghana was also positioned to use her resources to help with the integration of the region, especially with what is about to happen, the country about to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will open opportunities.
“I am sure that additional opportunities will open up as tariffs on intra-African trade are progressively eliminated within the AfCFTA,” he stated.
He said Mexico had benefitted from free trade agreements, not only in North America but also within Asia-Pacific and Latin America , as well as with the European Union.
The Deputy Foreign Minister said Mexico was also well positioned to be the kind of partner that Ghana needed in achieveing its vision and objectives in various areas, including their tourism efforts.
Mr Ventura who was speaking to the <I>Daily Graphic<$> in an interview in Accra during a two-day visit to Ghana recently, said, “Mexico is the country to talk to in Ghana’s tourism agenda because Mexico has made great strides in tourism, and is the sixth most visited country in the world, with 40 million visitors last year, while its food is recognised globally.
Ghana and Mexico could start a conversation in this area, not the type that will be high cost, but the type that will have great impact, adding that the two countries need to be supportive of each other.
Mexico, he noted, had also achieved a lot in the automotive industry and commended Ghana for the efforts it has put in and recently adapted its automotive policy.
“We have detected great opportunities of collaboration in trade and investment, and in areas such as the automotive and agri-food sectors, where there is already a Mexican investment in the Volta Region.
He also touched on education, and said Mexico was promoting scholarship opportunities for Ghanaian students to study in Mexico at various levels.
Mr Ventura was happy to note that Ghana’s well-deserved reputation as a gateway to Africa and its flagship programme “Ghana Beyond Aid’ had generated interest in Mexican companies that sought to explore new opportunities in non-traditional markets.
The Deputy Minister was happy to note that Mexico’s development agenda had been of great impact in Ghana and mentioned for example, the sharing of knowledge in the nixtamalisation process, a traditional and ancient technique which translates into better standards of food security, health and women’s empowerment to many communities.
Mr Ventura observed that Mexico’s interest in Ghana had been shown through different visits paid to the country by Mexican authorities since 2016, which he said Ghana had reciprocated with the visits to Mexico by the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chief executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.
He announced that Mexico would support Ghana in her efforts to reopen an embassy in Mexico, saying that would play a very important role in further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Mr Ventura said Mexico was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Ghana after independence.
The Deputy Minister observed that since the reopening of the Mexican Embassy in Ghana, our political, economic, cultural and cooperation for development agenda had made significant progress, resulting in very positive and tangible outcomes.
To continue building and improving our relationship, he said the two countries required a sustained effort from both governments, and an ever-increasing engagement by our business communities and civil societies, he added.