The Fourth Session of the Ghana-France political Dialogue on Thursday opened in Accra to kick-start the process of dialoguing that would help deepen diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The dialogue would also afford the countries the opportunity to share and expand cooperation on issues of mutual interest to the respective governments and peoples.
The forum would also offer opportunities for development cooperation in areas such as; the study of the French Language, culture, adoption of new technologies as well as support for various sectors of the economy including energy, health, agriculture, and infrastructure development.
Mr Edwin Adjei, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on behalf of the Sector Minister, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, welcomed the French Delegation to the dialogue and commended the Government of France for hosting the meeting on three successive sessions.
He said, such a mechanism for dialoguing always provided ample opportunities to exchange ideas in a frank and transparent atmosphere that narrowed differences and improved development cooperation based on shared values and aspirations.
He described Ghana’s relations with France that dated back to 60 years ago, as excellent, and that the relations had assumed a wider dimension with France being one of the country’s strategic development partners.
“France has lived up to its commitments as solid strategic partner in support of our economic development” Mr Adjei said.
He said Ghana also appreciated France’s positive support in a spirit of true partnership through the establishment of concrete measures to promote peace, security and development in the West African sub-region and on the African Continent as a whole.
He said the Government would continue to take further bold steps to revamp the Ghanaian economy and implement partnership agreements to sustain the current enabling business environment as outlined in its economic programmes and policies.
Currently there are about 90 French registered projects in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy including banking services, manufacturing and air transport as well as in agriculture.
“Trade volumes between the two countries have grown steadily over the years reaching approximately US$2 billion” Mr Adjei said, adding that Government would continue to encourage more French investments into various sectors.
He, however said there were various areas like regional security, cybercrime, maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, migration, climate change and development cooperation, that could further be explored by the two countries.
On his part, Leader of the French Delegation, Laurent Garnier, said the dialogue had proven to be essential in consolidating bilateral partnership between the countries.
Mr Garnier who is also Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Republic of France, said his country saw Ghana as a strategic partner in the sub-region because of its political stability and vibrant democracy.
He explained that the partnership with Ghana had one principal objective of contributing to the development of West Africa by strengthening regional integration in which Ghana was a key partner.
“The partnership that exists between our two countries is holistic in nature. It has political, economic and social-cultural dimensions” he noted.
He said France would actively support Ghana’s efforts on the path to economic recovery and was in approval of the approach taken by the new government towards private sector development and the attraction of foreign direct investment.
Among issues to be discussed were: “Economic relations and French investment in Ghana, Cooperation in Defence and security, French presence in Ghana notably on construction works on the new chancery building, and Development assistance with emphasis on AFD programmes.
Also to be discussed are other global issues on security challenges with emphasis on the fight against terrorism, Sustainable Development Goals, to outline the priority of Ghana National Policy on Migration and Issues of climate change negotiations and Ghana’s programme of Action.