Honorary Consul of Ghana in Thailand hosts Thailand-Ghana Entrepreneurship Conference
published : 21 Mar 2023 at 15:03
Featuring business matching and Africa market trade talks, the conference promises agricultural trade exchanges. Thailand is expected to invest over 50 million USD in export business.
Dr. Sicha Singsomboon, Honorary Consul of Ghana in Thailand, along with H.E. Mr. Addo Yaw Frimpong, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Crops) of Ghana, H.E. Mrs. Florence Buerki Akonor, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Malaysia, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Executive Chairman, Jospong Group of Companies Ghana, and Adelaide Araba Siaw Agyepon, CEO, Asia Africa Consortium (AAC), hosted a press conference declaring joint trade and investment collaboration between Thailand and Ghana at Grand Fortune Hotel, Bangkok.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong stated: “Our trip to Thailand five months ago signifies the significant progress of the collaboration between Thailand and Ghana. This is especially so today when overwhelming numbers of investors are sharing their interest at our trade conference. Such tremendous success led us to meet experts in rice mill processing, fertiliser, and agricultural machinery and equipment as well as the Office of National Farmers Council and Thai Rice Milling Association. We trust that our exchanges of insights will transform Ghana into another country that exports rice and generates revenue for our people. More importantly, Ghana is able to produce its own rice species and export rice worldwide.”
However, Ghana needs to gain more knowledge and further explore development of land for rice cultivation.
“Since our business talks in Thailand five months ago, Ghana has imported some items and hired professionals in the fertiliser, rice milling and rice cultivation sectors to initiate the experimental phase in Ghana. It is believed that over $50 million will be garnered to promote rice agriculture in this country, particularly on the export side, involving agricultural tools and rice growing technology. As such, Ghana is expected to achieve rice farming area development of 50 million rai in 3-5 years.”
Currently, Ghana has only 12.5 million rai under cultivation due to water supply while domestic rice consumption amounts to 1.4 million tonnes per year and actual rice demand reaches 2 million tonnes per annum or a shortage of 6,000 tonnes per year.
“Thailand’s collaborative agreement led by Dr Sicha is recognised as a great opportunity for Thai business to debut in the market and any ventures initiated now are poised to succeed soonest. Our company extends our interests beyond rice to other fruitful Thai produce such as potatoes, corn, soy beans, and animal fodder, as these sectors are in high demand. Furthermore, Thailand is the world’s leading country in agriculture and it is our goal to accomplish this collaboration.”
The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Crops) of Ghana added: “Ghana is interested in animal food particular the chicken segment, as domestic animal food prices, including chicken, are high. Thai entrepreneurs in animal food technology are welcome to trade negotiations and initiate collaborative attempts to drive animal food price discounts in Ghana.”
H.E. Mrs. Florence Buerki Akonor, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Malaysia, stated: “Ghana is blessed with hot ginger which has a different flavour to Thai species. Ghana’s cocoa is also a world-acclaimed plant and Thailand is more than welcome to exchange know-how in growing these plants with us.”
Regarding concerns around market competitiveness, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong affirmed that: “Rice farming in Ghana needs to undergo development and exchange experiences. We are 50 years behind Thailand in rice cultivation and technology.”
Dr. Sicha Singsomboon added: “Rice farming development in Ghana is currently at the experimental stage. However, Thailand’s authentic rice variety is reserved for business investment undertaken by Thai investors. While diverse types of rice from Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are in the testing experiment stage, some types are not appropriate to grow in Ghana.”
“As Thailand is committed to rice research and development going forward, knowledge contributed by Thailand is believed to be endless. As stated by Ghana, they believe their wisdom in rice farming is 50 years behind us. Therefore, we feel compelled to convey the farming foundation to Ghana and hope Thailand is trusted and embraced by people in Ghana.”
“Thailand needs partners qualified with business expansion plans as we are surrounded by aggressive trade competitors,” added Dr. Sicha Singsomboon. “In proceeding with business ventures with Ghana, Thailand can be reassured of worthwhile gains from the gathering of private sectors, investors nationwide, and SMEs with mutual purposes which will overcome any hurdles to invest in Ghana. Cooperation from all can help smooth any negotiations with officials to enable thorough understanding and exchanges of knowledge to inspire and transform business entrepreneurs to become exporters from the Africa region.”
“I have tried my best to drive Thailand forward to successfully set up businesses in Africa. The Ghanaian government requires rice farming as a strategic policy to revive the economy and hopes to advance its economy with rice as one necessity. The royal speech by the Late King Rama IX The Great reminds us that Thailand is the Kitchen of the World. We provide food for the world to survive and therefore our initiatives with Africa are inspired by such philosophy.”
The visits of Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Crops) of Ghana along with Ghana’s leading businesses were accompanied by business matching sessions between Thailand and Ghana that garnered tremendous interest among Thai entrepreneurs.