Switzerland and Ghana launch 2017–2020 cooperation strategy

Switzerland and Ghana launch 2017–2020 cooperation strategy

Switzerland and Ghana have recognized the quality of their bilateral relations during the visit of Swiss Confederation president Doris Leuthard to Ghana. Ghana is Switzerland’s main trading partner in Africa. A cooperation strategy for 2017 to 2020 has been launched.

Ghana is one of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) priority countries for economic development cooperation. One of the aims of this programme is to increase Ghana’s economic competitiveness. Ghana is an anchor of stability in West Africa and since 2010 has been classed as a middle-income country.

SECO director Ms Ineichen-Fleisch and Ghana’s minister of finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, signed a declaration of intent to launch the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa. This is an initiative by the Swiss chocolate industry, civil society and SECO to improve social, ecological and economic sustainability in the cocoa industry.

Ghana is Switzerland’s main cocoa supplier. Trade between Switzerland and Ghana was worth CHF 2.38 billion in 2016, a significant increase over the previous year. There was a particularly sharp rise in gold imports from Ghana to Switzerland (+ 81.6 per cent). Ghana has been Switzerland’s main African trade partner since 2016, ahead of South Africa.

The official talks focused on economic and trade issues. The delegations also underlined their constructive cooperation in the field of migration and their dialogue on energy and environmental policies. Security and the regional situation were also key topics of the talks. Switzerland and Ghana support the work of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), which trains staff for peacekeeping missions. Ms Leuthard has met Swiss businesspersons operating in Ghana. The Swiss delegation has also visited a sustainable pineapple production project in the Eastern Region which enjoys Swiss support.