Ghana Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

Foreign trade between EU member countries and Ghana continues to decline and in 2018 EU imports to Ghana accounted for only 28% of Ghana’s total imports and Ghana’s total exports to the EU accounted for only 19%. Foreign trade with the countries of the African continent amounted to less than 2%. Ghana’s main trading partners continue to remain, despite the decline in their share, especially European countries such as Switzerland, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Ghana, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 2,607.20 2,416.00 2,182.90 2,567.60 3,080.30
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 1,896.90 2,668.00 2,268.30 1,837.40 2,007.20
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -710.3 251.9 85.5 -730.2 -1,073.1

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Ghana is currently one of the five most important trading partners of the Czech Republic in sub-Saharan Africa, with which the Czech Republic has a rich history of political and economic ties. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries has recently been gaining momentum. Ghana has a long-standing interest in exporting value-added items instead of exporting primary raw materials. As Czech engineering products traditionally have an excellent reputation in Ghana, this stable market of almost thirty million is a long-term perspective for Czech companies exporting industrial technologies, infrastructure projects and agricultural machinery. Due to Ghana’s new industrialization policy, called “One district, one factory”, there are now many opportunities for foreign companies in Ghana. In recent years, Czech exports have been quite successful in the country, also thanks to the contribution of ZÚ Accra, which can be seen in the growing trend. Last year, we completed several important projects in the healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and defense industries. For more information, contact ZÚ Accra.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.6 ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.1 ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.4 -0.2 -0.3 -0.6 ON

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

China is Ghana’s largest trading partner and a major source of foreign direct investment. The volume of bilateral trade makes Ghana China’s 7th largest trading partner in Africa. In 2017, Ghana signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Mutual cooperation focuses on mining, infrastructure, security (loans, financial grants, training, arms transfer, patrol vessels, etc.). Other important non-European trading partners are the USA and Great Britain.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 9,152.5 10,285.3 11 134.5 9,733.6 9,445.3
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 8,853.3 8,496.0 9,130.8 8,726.9 8,780.6
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) 299.1 1,789.3 2003.7 1006.7 664.7

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

Attracting foreign investment is part of the Ghanaian government’s economic policy. Foreign investors have a number of advantages and it depends in which regime the company operates. The government is primarily targeting the Ghanaian diaspora abroad. According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, 2020 ended very encouragingly for Ghana. A total investment inflow of US$ 2,796.49 million was recorded in 2020, with the value of foreign direct investment in Ghana at US$ 2,650.97 million. In a joint venture, the minimum required capital is $200,000 (previously $10,000), cash or equivalent in kind, or a combination of both. In the case of a joint venture between a foreign investor and a Ghanaian citizen, the Ghanaian’s ownership stake in the venture must not be less than 10%. For a company wholly owned by a foreign investor, the minimum required capital is $500,000 (previously $50,000), in cash or goods or a combination of both. For a trading (non-manufacturing) company, the minimum required capital is $1,000,000 in cash or the equivalent in goods or a combination of both. The foreign investor doing business in the business must also employ at least 20 Ghanaians in professional occupations.

Healthcare remains a promising field in particular. There is an opportunity to supply turnkey hospitals, not only in the framework of the government’s “111” program (when 111 new regional hospitals are to be built). There is a demand for medical equipment from beds to sophisticated medical devices.

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

The EPA is a development-oriented free trade agreement. Under it, the EU provides duty-free and quota-free access for Ghanaian exports to the EU. Ghana will gradually reduce its tariffs to zero on 78% of its EU imports by 2029. The tariff reduction process started in 2020 and has created significant new export opportunities for EU exporters. In the future, the EU and Ghana could decide to extend the EPA to include, for example, provisions on investment and trade in services.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the Republic of Ghana on air services between their countries and across their territories of 1961 · Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Republic of Ghana of 1960 · On April 11, 2017, the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed. · Negotiations continue on the Treaty on the Protection and Promotion of Investments. In 04/19, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center sent a statement to the MF CR regarding the open points of the Agreement. · Since 2011, the Interdepartmental Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the Czech Republic and Ghana was prepared for signature, which was changed in 06/18 to the Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Ghana on Economic Cooperation. Another round of comments took place in 03/19

Developmental cooperation

Together with EU member states in Ghana, Switzerland and the European Investment Bank, joint planning for the period 2021-2027 was launched in Ghana. EU cooperation priorities in Ghana are Green Growth for Jobs, Smart and Sustainable Cities and Security and Good Governance. The EU will provide 203 million euros for the period 2021-2024 to achieve these common goals. Likewise, member states have their own development programs in which Czech companies can also participate. Current information at ZÚ Accra.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry

Ghana’s health sector is facing many problems, whether it is outdated hospital equipment or the complete absence of hospitals in certain regions, in addition, the pressure on the health system has increased in recent years due to Covid-19. There is a shortage of medical personnel who often go abroad to work. There is an opportunity to supply turnkey hospitals, not only in the framework of the government’s “111” program (when 111 new regional hospitals are to be built). There is a demand for medical equipment from beds to sophisticated medical devices.

Agricultural and food industry

It is one of the most important sectors of the economy, employing up to 70% of the workforce and contributing to 24% of the country’s GDP. The priority goal of the current government is to ensure self-sufficiency in the production of rice, corn and soybeans, and it strives to provide affordable agricultural equipment for small and medium-sized farmers. Another priority of the government in the field of agriculture is to reduce dependence on food imports. There is an effort to support the own production of poultry meat and eggs, which represents a demand especially for feed, artificial fertilizers and processing technology. New opportunities are also offered as part of the transition to sustainable development, when there will be a demand for new technologies and procedures

Defense industry

In particular, the worsening security situation in neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which already accounts for 90% of the world’s share of all pirate attacks, is forcing the government to invest more in the defense industry. The main goal of the strategic plan is the modernization of the Ghanaian armed forces, for which the Ghanaian government has long-term allocated 145 million USD even before the pandemic. As part of this modernization, small arms and ammunition, new army armored vehicles, parachutes and other army accessories should be procured for the soldiers.

Water management and waste industry

The country is struggling with waste treatment and wastewater issues. Not only within global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). As part of supporting the circular economy, we can expect various support programs from the EU and the Ghanaian government to support the construction of wastewater treatment plants, waste incinerators with energy production and other technologies.

Transport industry and infrastructure

In the 2013 “Ghana Railway Master Plan” are to link Ghana’s major cities, use Ghana to transport goods from landlocked countries like Burkina Faso to the ports of Tema and Takoradi and vice versa and provide transport routes for transporting minerals from their deposit areas as inland (manganese, bauxite, iron ore) and on the coast (oil and natural gas). At the same time, there should be an expansion of the transport infrastructure, the construction of roads, the reconstruction of key bridges (the plan is to build 500 bridges that should connect less accessible areas with cities), overpasses and other buildings. Czech companies can be employed in the construction of roads, railways, bridges by supplying buses, trams and locomotives.

Ghana Trade