India asks Ghana to ink bilateral investment safety treaty


New Delhi : India Friday urged Ghana to sign at the earliest a bilateral treaty aimed at protecting and promoting their investments in each other’s territories.

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Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who is visiting Ghana as part of India’s “Focus Africa” policy to explore new markets in the African continent, made the plea at a meeting with Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor in Accra.

In 2002, Ghana had agreed to sign a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India.

Sharma said an early conclusion of the agreement was essential for elevating the trade and economic engagement between the two countries, according to a commerce and industry ministry statement released here.

Sharma also met Ghana’s Foreign Minister Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni and discussed with him the need for developing an enduring partnership.

Ghana is one of the highest recipients of the Lines of Credit from India. India is engaged in executing seven projects worth $193 million in Ghana.

Citing India as a model of development to be emulated by Ghana, the Ghanaian ministers stressed the need for partnerships with India in pharmaceuticals, IT and energy, including oil and gas.

Recent oil and gas finds in Ghana have added a new dimension to the partnership. Ato Ahwoi, chairman of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), had visited India last September as a special envoy of the president and had called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meeting had resulted in signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two governments for setting up a 1.15 million tonne per annum fertilizer plant in Ghana at an investment of $1 billion.

Ghana also plans to augment its power generating capacity from 2,000 MW to nearly 5,000 MW in the next five years and needs an investment of $1.5 billion in the country’s power transmission and distribution sectors.