Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva inaugurated the Brazil-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, yesterday, in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The goal is to intensify trade relations between the two countries.
This is the first step towards bringing Brazilian and Ghanian entrepreneurs closer. Ghana is currently the fourth largest importer of Brazilian products in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola, and is Brazil’s port of entry to West Africa. Nearly 80% of what Brazil exports to this region enters through the port of Tema.
Trade between the two countries amounted to US$ 169.8 million in 2004, versus US$ 106 million in 2003. Of this total, only US$ 448.7 thousand represented Brazilian imports from Ghana. According to President Lula, there is great potential for increasing the volume and diversifying the portfolio of products.
Lula also repeated what he has been saying in all the African countries he has visited: a trade relationship is a two-way street. “We don’t want trade to favor only Brazil. We want balanced trade in which we buy and sell,” Lula told Brazilian and Ghanian businessmen and government representatives.
The President believes that trade relations with Ghana can be stimulated through joint ventures, Brazilian investments in Ghana, and cooperation in the spheres of scientific and technological knowledge, education, and health.
From Ghana the President embarked for Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, for a four-hour visit of an eminently political nature. Lula met with the President and Prime-Minister of Guinea-Bissau, as well as conversing with all the officers and members of commissions of the National Assembly, to encourage the country’s democratization.
Ending the visit, the President and his official entourage proceeded, before the day was through, to Dakar, the capital of Senegal.