Foreign trade and development minister Kaag visits Ghana and AU-EU summit in Côte d’Ivoire

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag will visit Ghana on Tuesday. Her mission is to build on the good relations between Ghana and the Netherlands and explore opportunities there for Dutch companies.

Ghana plays a key political and economic role in West Africa. The policy of the new Ghanaian government ties in well with the Dutch policy of combining aid and trade. The Netherlands supports Ghana’s efforts to develop the private sector further. ‘It’s good for Ghana and also creates opportunities for Dutch companies and investors,’ Ms Kaag said.

The minister will have talks with Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia. She will also meet Ghanaian women leaders, Dutch entrepreneurs and employees from a company that processes fruit products for a Dutch supermarket chain. Ms Kaag will also visit a waste processing plant that uses Dutch technology to make biogas from organic waste.

Agricultural production and processing is a key priority for the Ghanaian government. Ms Kaag welcomes the reopening of the EU market for certain Ghanaian vegetables, including aubergines and bell peppers, in January 2017. The EU had imposed a ban on five types of vegetable in 2015 because of inadequate hygiene standards. Ghana has since taken measures to improve production, which, in combination with Dutch assistance, has led to the ban being lifted.

From Ghana, the minister will travel on to Côte d’Ivoire, where, together with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra, she will take part in a summit for countries of the EU and African Union. Agreements will be made on cooperation, particularly in regard to migration, peace and security. Ms Kaag said, ‘It is important to talk with our African partners about creating more jobs for young people in Africa, improving the investment climate and the link between tackling the root causes of poverty, development and migration.’

Ministry responsible