I am pleased to be part of this event, in this beautiful new venue. Last month, I participated in the launch of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency-funded feasibility study for a solar project here in Ghana. The energy systems for the project will be made from solar panels assembled at a manufacturing facility in Kpone (Pong) and from other equipment manufactured in the United States.
The project will support jobs in both of our countries and benefit people across Ghana by bringing reliable, affordable electricity to schools, clinics, hospitals, and other facilities. It’s an example of the positive, results-oriented programs the United States and Ghana can do together. I am eager to see more of these success stories!
One of my top priorities as U.S. Ambassador is increasing trade and investment and deepening our commercial relationship. Bilateral trade between our two countries totaled $1.4 billion in 2018. My goal is to see that number increase substantially over the next three years. Of course, we want to see more American products and services in Ghana.
And, we also want to see Ghana transform its manufacturing sector and send more exports to the U.S. market. Today’s launch is another step on that path. For many Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs, it is difficult to obtain credit at affordable rates and with realistic repayment terms so they can expand their businesses.
This collaboration between our respective Export-Import banks creates a welcome opportunity for companies to adopt cutting-edge U.S. technologies and equipment and to finance them at competitive rates.
That means companies can grow, become more competitive, hire more workers, and pay taxes that can finance Ghana’s development. Under the partnership being launched today,the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and Ghana Export-Import Bank (Ghana EXIM) will explore options for utilizing EXIM Bank guaranteed loans totaling up to $300 million U.S. dollarsto finance U.S. exports to Ghana – enabling qualified small and medium-sized enterprises identified by Ghana EXIM to purchase U.S. goods and services.
I commend U.S. EXIM and Ghana EXIM for undertaking this initiative, which supports the Government of Ghana’s goals to increase industrialization, create jobs, and diversify the economy. I am particularly happy about this collaboration, as it marks another milestone in our relationship with Ghana EXIM – having provided support at its start. Partnerships such as this,which support the private sector, are key to creating economic opportunities. This financing facility is an opportunity for Ghanaian businesses to access world-class U.S. technology and equipment to drive their expansion plans forward.
I greatly value the strength of our bilateral partnerships, and look forward to continuing to work together to promote an even more robust trade relationship that creates jobs and prosperity for both Ghanaians and Americans.