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Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman: Israel to Invest $100 Million in Ghana’s Economy

An Israeli business delegation is currently visiting the African nation of Ghana.

 

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Aerial_View_of_Kumasi_in_2003

 

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor “Yvette” Lieberman is in the West African nation of Ghana this week where he announced a new plan by Israel to invest $100 million in the small country’s economy. Lieberman made the announcement upon his arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in the Ghanaian capital of Kotoka.

His current visit is a follow up to his previous one to the small African nation which Mr. Lieberman made in 2011, at which time other agreements were signed between the two countries. Mr. Lieberman explained that this trip was intended to formalize those previous understandings.

Foreign Minister Lieberman brought with him more than sixty Israeli business representatives who are in Ghana to explore the possibility of investing in that country. The companies represented in the trip include the defense contractor Elbit Systems Ltd., irrigation equipment maker Netafim Ltd. and billionaire Tal Ofer’s Israel Chemicals Ltd.

The group was met at the airport by Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hannah Tetteh, who discussed how Israel and her country have close ties in many fields such as agriculture.

On Monday, Mr. Lieberman and Ms. Tetteh signed two memorandum of understanding to deepen bilateral relations between their countries. Now Israeli and Ghanaian foreign mission spouses will be allowed to work in Ghana and Israel.

Minister Lieberman also asked Minister Tetteh to help Israel gain membership in the African Union.

Minister Tetteh said that she hoped the visit would lead to stronger economic ties between Israel and Ghana. She added that Ghana has a stable investment environment and assured the Israeli business delegation that government would assist them in their quest to invest in the country.

Foreign Minister Tetteh also commented on the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teens in Israel, saying that it is a painful and regrettable development.

The Israeli delegation will spend two days in Ghana and will visit certain areas there as part of their search for investment opportunities.

The trip to Ghana is part of an effort by Israel to continue to increase its exports to Sub-Saharan Africa which reached $1.4 billion in 2013, almost four times the total of $374 million a decade ago. Israel is also seeking new markets as it is currently under threat of extended political boycotts in Europe, its biggest trading partner.

Regarding Israel’s future trade with Africa, Shauli Katznelson, director of the economic division at the Israel Institute for Export and International Cooperation, in Tel Aviv, told Bloomberg News, “When you look at the map, you see growth in the sub-Saharan countries that is even greater than in Asia and that offers a great deal of opportunity for Israeli companies.”

Of the region’s 52 countries, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia are likely to be most productive for Israeli investment and trade, Katznelson told Bloomberg.

Israel has a long history of close ties with Ghana. In 1959 it helped to train and establish the Ghana Air Force. Several Ghanaian children have had medical treatment in Israel for heart conditions in the last few years under the auspices of Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart international humanitarian project.

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