Ghana-Italy trade yields €400m in 2018
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The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Giovanni Favilli, has said bilateral trade between Italy and Ghana yielded nearly €400 million last year.
He said that was because of the fruitful relationship between the two countries in their long-standing economic cooperation and shared values.
Mr Favilli disclosed this at the Italian National Day in Kumasi over the weekend.
According to him, some 1,145 Ghanaians who also hold Italian citizenship remitted $151 million to Ghana upon engaging in productive ventures in Italy in 2017.
Italian National Day
The Italian National Day, which has become an annual event celebrated in Kumasi, also marked the 73rd anniversary of Italy becoming a Republic when Italians voted in a referendum on June 2, 1946 for it.
The event, held at the residence of the Honorary Vice Consul of Italy, Mr Stefano Ramella Pezza, was attended by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei Mensah; the Akyempemhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku; the Bantamahene, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia V; the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Kumasi, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi; the Director of Urban Roads, Mr Atta Poku, among others.
Addressing the dignitaries, Mr Favilli said apart from helping to promote European integration as a founding member of the European Community, Italy was also deeply committed to supporting Ghana in its socio-economic development to enhance high standards of living.
He further indicated that 70,000 Ghanaians now residing in Italy had been integrated into the Italian society and were contributing to the cultural wealth and diversity of Italy.
“There are many Ghanaian students in Italy. We issued over 1,600 student visas in the last five years. Italy also has the highest number of Ghanaian footballers outside Ghana,” he noted.
He said Italy’s commitment to support Ghana to grow its economy was consistent with the relationship between the two countries in business, including Italian companies’ roles in the building of the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Oil Refinery.
On Italy’s support to the development of the oil and gas sector in Ghana, Mr Favilli noted that “Our investment in the oil and gas project at the Offshore Cape Three Point is the largest single foreign investment in Ghana”.
He indicated that the initiatives also extended to corporate social responsibilities such as solar energy and a landmark vocational training institute in the Bono Region which would be inaugurated by the end of the year.
Mr Favilli said apart from Italian families who settled in Ghana more a century ago to do business in the country, companies such as Barbisotti of MBS, De Simone, Consar and Taricone of Trasacco and Micheletti had played active roles in the construction industry in Ghana.
Asokwa Children’s Hospital
The Vice Consul of Italy, Mr Pezza, acknowledged the tremendous services that a group of Italian medical officers had been providing at the Asokwa Children’s Hospital since it was established in 2008.
He said an Italian pediatric specialist, Dr Enrico Frontini, in particular, had been at the forefront of helping and guiding the hospital’s medical board to deliver quality medical care to patients.
“Many Italian medical volunteers, including Dr Gherardo Rapisardi, Dr Alberto Calligaris, Dr Cristina Pizzi, Dr Chiara del Rosso, Dr Matteo Pedeferri, Dr Adriana Baruffini and Dr Francesca Campeis, spend between three and six months each year in Kumasi to train the local medical staff,” he added.