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Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey holds cooperation talks with Singaporean colleague

The two diplomats discussed ways in which Ghana and Singapore can deepen their relations at the bilateral and multilateral levels

Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, as part of a tour of South East Asian Commonwealth countries, has held bilateral talks with her Singaporean counterpart, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The two diplomats during their meeting held at the offices of the Singapore Ministry of Affairs on Monday, 10 June 2024, engaged in extensive discussions on ways in which Ghana and Singapore can collaborate to deepen their relations both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

Ms Botchwey in her submissions pointed out that Ghana has a favourable business climate, and with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat in Accra, Ghana has become a major attraction for foreign investment.

Dr Balakrishnan on his part, reiterated Singapore’s commitment to strengthening its ties with Ghana. He indicated that he views any move to deepen relations with Ghana as a step towards making Ghana Singapore’s key partner within the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). Dr Vivian Balakrishnan noted that some of the areas that Singapore and Ghana can consider are trade, energy, and climate change.

The two envoys also discussed global and regional issues of mutual concern and established that Ghana and Singapore share common positions on several issues of current international concern. They both agreed that their two respective countries will continue to shape developments in the global space to make the world a better place for all.

Two weeks ago, Ghana and Singapore signed a cooperative agreement under the Paris Agreement, following cabinet and parliamentary approval in Ghana.

The agreement paves the way for Singaporean private sector companies with carbon tax obligations to undertake or sponsor forestry projects in Ghana to offset their emissions and reduce their tax obligations while boosting Ghana’s forest cover and green credentials. Consequently, the Government of Singapore is planning a field mission to Ghana to discuss potential projects under this agreement in July.

Ms Botchwey, one of Africa’s leading diplomats, and former ECOWAS legislator, has listed climate change, trade, and education and skills development for young people among the pillars of her Commonwealth vision, as she seeks to take up the role of Commonwealth Secretary General. Heads of Government of the 56-member organization will vote for a new Secretary-General in October at their regular summit to be held in Samoa.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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