South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his willingness to expand the trade and investment opportunities between South Africa and Ghana, and highlighted the importance of exploring new avenues of cooperation beyond the existing areas covered by the Bi-National Commission (BNC).

Speaking at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's in Pretoria on Tuesday, the president delivered a keynote during the second session of the South Africa-Ghana BNC.

"In addition to the many areas of cooperation that the BNC covers, it is important that we explore how best both countries can increase trade and investment among ourselves," Ramaphosa said, SA News reported.

The president noted that Ghana hosts several South African companies, adding that those companies are keen to expand investments in Ghana and want to work together to improve the business environment.

Ramaphosa said that South African companies, including those in the banking sector, have shown interest in aligning with Ghana's investment plans to explore potential opportunities.

Ramaphosa took this opportunity to invite Ghana investors to make investments in South African companies, operating in South Africa. He pointed out that collaboration between the private and public sectors of both countries is crucial.

He further suggested his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that pursuing procurement contracts within each other's countries would be a beneficial and economically viable option rather than sourcing from outside the continent.

"There is also scope for collaboration in infrastructure between our two economies, particularly in the building of dry ports, railway networks, airports and hospital facilities. There are also opportunities to be explored in the pre-chemicals sector," he said.

He added, "As we are both coastal countries, maritime shipping and the related economy holds potential for us and opportunities should be explored further in this regard. We need to work together to reverse the decline in trade between our countries over the past four years."

Ramaphosa recalled sending the first shipment to Ghana and other countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement in January this year, highlighting this as an important step towards the start of preferential trade to create great opportunities for growth and development.

South Africa and Ghana inaugurated BNC in 2020 when both countries signed 24 agreements and memoranda of understanding covering various areas of economic, technical, scientific, social and cultural cooperation. Ramaphosa emphasized the need for the accelerated implementation of these agreements and finalize discussions on additional deals.