Danish State Visit Expected To Boost Trade Relations
The state visit of Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II and her entourage, including a business delegation to Ghana, is expected to reinforce the strong and cordial Ghana-Denmark relations while boosting trade levels between the two countries.
The visit of the Queen, at the invitation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will take place from November 23-25, 2017 and is the first visit by the Danish Queen to Ghana and West Africa.
The Queen will be accompanied by the Minster of Foreign Affairs- Mr Anders Samuelson and Minister for Environment and Food-Mr Esben Lunde Larsen, as well as a 39-member business delegation comprising Danish companies in sectors including Food and Agriculture, Sustainability and Maritime and Infrastructure and Railways.
Speaking at a press briefing organised by the Danish Embassy in Ghana ahead of the visit, Ms. Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said the Embassy was excited about the visit as it will offer an opportunity to showcase ‘what a wonderful country’ Ghana was to the Danish people and the rest of the world.
She noted that Ghana and Denmark’s joint history dated back several hundred years, with Denmark working closely with Ghana on development cooperation after Ghana’s independence, through its agency DANIDA.
Following Ghana’s attainment of middle-income status however, Denmark’s relations with Ghana was being transitioned from development cooperation to a more equal political and trade relations.
Ms Degnbol said by 2020, this transition would be completed and development cooperation ended in Ghana, however she noted that the process was being managed in a gradual way so as not to affect the marginalised and underprivileged in society who were mostly the beneficiaries of development cooperation efforts.
“We will continue our very strong partnership but it will be based more on our economic relations: companies trading with each other, Danish companies coming here to invest…we will in the future have a new relationship built on equal terms where we are working together for the mutual benefit of our two countries,” she stated.
She added that as part of the transition, Denmark was supporting private businesses with skills development, and business advocacy through the Business Advocacy (BUSAC) Fund to help them negotiate with government to create the enabling environment for private business, among other initiatives.
She said the state visit will help spur business cooperation, as the foundation had been laid with some Memoranda of Understanding signed between some Ghanaian and Danish companies, as well as with Danish companies with government authorities.
“We are very happy that this will be a push for the already ongoing business cooperation,” she said, adding that it will also help Ghana’s image in Denmark and around internationally.
Three Ghanaian Journalists, who were sponsored by the Embassy to Denmark to interview the Queen ahead of the visit shared their experiences in Denmark, highlighting the Danish people’s commitment to lean and efficient energy, environmentalism, tax compliance and their love for the Queen, which will ensure that the Danish spotlight will be on Ghana during the Queen’s visit.
Activities outlined for the three-day state visit include a meeting between the Queen and President Akufo-Addo, a business conference and Trade Fair, cultural visits in Accra, a state dinner hosted by the President, and site visits to Danish projects in Accra.
The Queen is also expected to meet the Danish community in Ghana, visit some cultural sites in the Eastern Region, and hold a press conference at the Royal Senchi Hotel.