Patience Gbeze, GNA
Accra, July 9, GNA – Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has urged the Government of Venezuela to partner Ghana on government policy initiatives to enhance economic transformation for both countries.
She said Ghana had adopted a three-pronged economic transformation programme that would accelerate investments in agriculture, strategic infrastructure and industrialisation.
The Minister said this when Mr Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela paid a courtesy call on her in her office on Monday.
The Venezuela Foreign Minister and his delegation were in Ghana as part of their three countries visit to Africa to seek investments opportunities and bilateral cooperation with the visiting countries.
Ms Botchwey mentioned “One District, One Factory”, One Village, One Dam” and “Planting for Food and jobs” as initiatives they believed should be catalyst to propel the nation’s economic transformation agenda through job-creation to improved livelihoods.
She said the visit was an opportune time for the two countries to critically assess and weigh the positive contributions their relations have made to the social and economic development of the two countries.
Such visits, she said present the two countries the opportunity to open up, interact and find common grounds to address some of the challenges confronting their efforts to foster bonds of friendship and cooperation.
“Although Ghana and Venezuela have signed a Cooperation Framework Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding for Political Consultations, there is now an urgent need for both sides to take advantage of the various opportunities that exist in our countries by enhancing interactions in trade and investment activities, particularly in the Oil and Gas sector.
“At the multinational level, cooperation between our two countries has been manifested in the areas of joint support for candidatures, sponsorship of resolutions and consultations on a wide range of issues of common interest, including in the areas of promotion of South-South cooperation and calls for a fair international trading system and reform of the UN Security Council, among others,” she added.
Ms Botchwey said: “As a leading player in the global oil and gas industry, and being a founding member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuela holds the world’s largest proven oil reserves, with crude oil being the main product exported” and expressed the hope that the two countries would partner in the Oil and Gas sector for their mutual benefit.
She said she was hopeful that the visit would further strengthen the friendship that has existed between the two over the years and urged the two to extend the mutually-beneficial cooperation into various other sectors, particularly in energy, health, education, and technical expertise/skills development.
The Minister, therefore, reassured her counterpart that Government of Ghana’s determination to continue to work towards further enhancement of the already-cordial relations with Venezuela.
She also thanked the Government of Venezuela for assisting Ghana with the supply of subsidised oil in the past, adding, the gesture, as timely as it was, enabled Ghana to address some critical challenges at those times.
Mr Jorge Arreaza, on his part, said the future of humanity depended on their ability to come together to harness their natural resources to build the two countries.
He said Ghana and Venezuela have economies that compliments each other in many areas and assured that they would depend on the expertise of both countries to achieve the goals of the cooperation.
Ghana and Venezuela have enjoyed very good relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1964.GNA