Switzerland imported over $2 billion worth of gold from Ghana in 2016 alone for conversion to finished products for the world market. This shows an overwhelming increase of about $90 million dollars over the 2015 figure of $1 billion.
The Charge de Affairs of the Swiss Embassy in Ghana, Mr Roland Fischer, announced this at the annual Swiss-Ghanaian Chamber of Commerce (SGCC) cocktail and business executives meeting in Accra.
In 2014 alone, the volume of trade between Switzerland and Ghana hit $1.8 billion and has since been rising every year.
Within the same period, Ghana imported $14.8 billion, making it the 87th largest importer in the world.
Over the last five years, the imports of Ghana have increased at an annualised rate of 13.7 per cent from $7.8 billion in 2009 to $14.8 billion in 2014.
The most recent imports are led by refined petroleum which represent 14.7 per cent of the total imports of Ghana, followed by crude petroleum, which account for 3.68 per cent.
Ghana as trade partner
According to Mr Fischer, Swiss continued to see Ghana as its major trade partner, adding “Ghana is the third most important producer of gold for Switzerland, with Peru and Uzbekistan being first and second respectively.”
He added that Ghana also continued to remain the major supplier of cocoa and other cashew crops for Switzerland.
“Switzerland also exports finished products such as pharmaceutical products, tools and equipment and vehicles to Ghana,” he said.
Mr Fischer admitted that there was a large trade imbalance between the two countries, but indicated that it was the responsibility of both governments to address the issue.
As part of the Swiss government’s plans to reduce the gap, he said a total amount of $74 million has been earmarked for development projects in Ghana for 2017 alone.
He said the government planned to assist Ghana in the areas of public health, public financing, infrastructure and education.
In an address, the Customer Relations Executive of the RMAS, an insurance brokerage company, Mr Hughes Razak Dakpo, advised business owners and directors to take advantage of the many benefits offered by insurance policies.
He said it was important for business executives and directors to be abreast of the insurance policies in the country in order to serve their customers and employees well.
For his part, the Chairman of the SGCC, Dr Nortey K. Omaboe, said the chamber was established to promote and interests of Ghanaian and Swiss businesses in the country.
He underscored the importance of the existence of chamber of commerces in the country, noting that their recent increase is an indication that they are important to the promotion of export and import businesses.