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Danish Queen Margrethe II, arrives in Ghana for state visit

The Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, arrived in Ghana on Wednesday for a two-day state visit.

The visit is aimed at consolidating the long-standing relationship between Ghana and Denmark.

Ghana and Denmark have enjoyed strong diplomatic and commercial ties over the years, and this visit by the Queen, who will be joined by representatives of Danish companies and business organizations, is further aimed at strengthening same.

With Ghana’s graduation to a middle-income country and the prospects of sustainable economic growth, Denmark is gradually transitioning from development aid to trade cooperation, in line with the vision of the Government of Ghana.

The visit will include seminars and meetings under the theme “Ghana – an Emerging Market within Reach” which will focus on food and agriculture, sustainability, maritime, railways and other infrastructure.

The Danish Queen is expected to attend the opening of the conference, and pay visits to several local businesses and cultural institutions.

Danish Queen Margrethe II with Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Ahead of her visit, a three-day press trip to Denmark was organised for four Ghanaian journalists, including Citi Breakfast Show host, Bernard Koku Avle.

During the trip, Queen Margrethe II said her visit will among others build trade relations between the two countries.

“I’m very much looking forward to my visit to Ghana in a few weeks’ time. It’s my first time in Ghana and in fact, it’s my first time in West Africa which means it’s something entirely new for me. But Denmark and Ghana have had very good relations for a very long time. I know that there is a large group of Danish business people who are looking forward to being [in Ghana] with me and to see what they can do and they are excited about the prospects of working in Ghana,” Queen Margarethe said.

A statement from the Danish Embassy on the visit said Ghana is the new golden opportunity for Danish eco-tech and food businesses.

It said the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, will participate in the state visit with trade mission to Ghana alongside Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and 39 Danish businesses.

The visit is to pave the way for Danish eco-technology and Danish food products on the growing West African market.

“Ghana’s growing middle class offers new opportunities for Danish eco-tech and food businesses. During the next four days, led by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe, the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, and the Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, 39 Danish businesses will have the opportunity to open the doors to the Ghanaian market” the statement noted.

The Danish Minister for Environment and Food has high expectations to the trade mission, saying “Ghana is currently demanding some of the food products and technological solutions within which Denmark holds a strong position. However, even though Denmark has strong solutions, the potential for Danish exports to Ghana is far from realized. Therefore, it is important that we promote Danish businesses, so they are first in line when Ghana invests in food products or in water and eco-technology,” said the Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen.

He noted that “even though Danish exports to Ghana rose during 2017, there is still a huge unfulfilled potential for Danish businesses in Ghana. For example, Ghana currently has a water loss of more than 50 percent, whereas Denmark loses less than 8 percent of water from waterworks to consumers. Moreover, with Denmark’s high level of food safety, high level of efficiency and climate-friendly food production, we can supply both high-quality food products and technology to the West Africans. I look forward to showing the Ghanaians what Danish businesses can offer,” said Esben Lunde Larsen.

Facts about Ghana and Danish exports:

•Ghana has 28 million inhabitants.

•Ghana was Denmark’s 84th largest export market in 2016, corresponding to DKK 272.7 million (around EUR 37 million) or 0.04% of total Danish exports.

•In the first seven months of 2017, Danish exports to Ghana rose to almost DKK 1 billion (EUR 134 million).

•The Danish International Development Assistance (Danida), has been active in Ghana since 1989, but the Danish development aid will now be phased out and cease entirely in 2020, as Ghana became a middle income country in 2011.

By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie & Sammi Wiafe/citifmonline.com/Ghana