Relationship between Italy and Ghana
As regards bilateral relations with Italy, among the main initiatives in support of development, we note:
- the agreement between Italy and Ghana for the cancellation of the bilateral debt for a value of approximately € 34 million;
- the entry into force on 5 July 2006 of the Italy / Ghana Convention to avoid double taxation on income taxes and to prevent tax evasion (signed on 19 February 2004);
- the support program for the private sector, called Ghana Private Sector Development Facility (GPSDF) 5 of 2003, through which the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs supplies a credit line for a total amount of 11 million €uro;
In addition to the creation of a credit line in favor of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana (favoring companies that are characterized by local and female employment, operations in the agrofood, industrial, tourism and environment; the connection with Ghanaian citizens residing in Italy or with Italian investors who participate in the capital of a Ghanaian company), the provision of technical assistance to them with a view to improving the trend towards internationalization and capacity building activities.
Moreover, it should be noted that the Italian non-governmental organizations “Ricerca e Cooperazione” and “Cospe” are active in the country, whose projects are aimed at increasing.
Italy and Ghana maintain excellent bilateral relations, consolidated by political missions at the highest levels that have characterized the last few months.
On 17 July 2015, the President of Ghana Mahama participated in the national day at Expo Milano, an event in which Ghana was present in the “Cocoa and Chocolate” Cluster, and took part in a business forum. The visit was followed by a mission to Accra, in December 2015, by the then Deputy Minister (current Minister) of Economic Development Calenda and the Undersecretary (current Deputy Minister) for Foreign Affairs Giro. Finally, in the first days of February 2016, Prime Minister Renzi carried out the first mission to Ghana of an Italian premier.
In Ghana there is a dynamic Italian business community, partly established a few decades ago, operating in the construction, production and marketing of cocoa and timber sectors. Recent investments range from the hydrocarbon sector (Eni), to the cultivation of plants and shrubs for the production of bioenergy, to production plants in the aluminum sector, to catering and transport. Fertile ground for the intensification of relations in the economic and commercial field was offered by the private sector support program “Ghana Private Sector Development Fund” (GPSDF), financed by the Italian Cooperation, which granted subsidized lines of credit to Ghanaian SMEs.
In 2015, Italian exports to Ghana reached 204.5 million euros, with an annual increase of 28.7%. Machines, appliances and mechanical devices made up 22.6% of our exports to Ghana, followed by electrical appliances and materials (9%), mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation (8.2%) and from cars (6%).
In 2015, Italian imports from Ghana touched 344.6 million euros, with a contraction on an annual basis of 35.9%. The main item of Italian imports from Ghana was represented by mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation (70%), followed by cocoa and its preparations (15.7%).