Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. The country is one of the top-ten fastest growing economies in the world, and the fastest growing economy in Africa. Well-endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Ghana imports mostly industrial supplies, capital and consumer goods and foodstuffs. Its main imports partners are China, United States, Belgium, United Kingdom and France. Ghana operates a relatively free market, having relatively low tariffs on imported products. Major agricultural food products imported into the country include bulk commodities and consumer ready food products such as poultry. Below are the top 5 products imported by Ghana.
Cars (5.5 Percent)
- The general trend is towards vehicles with smaller engine capacity. Five door cars are generally preferred over three door cars. Although smaller in size, within Ghana’s new vehicle market, U.S. sedan cars and sport utility vehicles are becoming increasing popular (as it is easier to obtain replacement parts than was previously the case).
Delivery Trucks (4.5 Percent)
- The main opportunities for U.S. exporters in this sector lie in the export of used vehicles, particularly used cars and trucks, to Ghana.
Refined Petroleum (3.8 Percent)
- Ghana’s petroleum sector involves upstream and downstream activities. The upstream activities include the production and refining of crude oil and the downstream activities include distribution and marketing of petroleum products and premixing of petroleum products for industrial uses, including fishing. Distribution of petroleum products in Ghana is dominated by multinational oil marketing companies (OMCs). There are over twenty oil marketing companies in Ghana. The private sector, including the OMCs and others source and supply finished products through an open competitive tendering system.
Large Construction Vehicles (2.4 Percent)
- The Ghanaian construction industry keeps growing with major construction activities in the roads, highways and bridges sectors, coastal works and residential accommodation. Construction equipment, particularly re-conditioned equipment, is likely to continue to be a promising sub-sector. Earthmoving equipment is in demand for use in road construction, mining operations and in commercial/residential property development. Price and financing terms are key considerations for buyers due to the low access/high cost of local credit. U.S. equipment is highly perceived and non-U.S. producers of construction and earthmoving equipment were somewhat slow to enter the market initially. Recently however, there are indications that non-U.S. competitors are looking at the Ghanaian market more aggressively.
Rice (2.2 Percent)
- Rice is cultivated in all the agricultural regions of Ghana. It is grown mainly in the valley bottoms, employing traditional farming practices. Modern scientific methods of rice cultivation through mechanization and irrigation are gradually increasing, particularly in the northern savanna zone and the Accra Plains of the Greater Accra region. Nevertheless, local rice cultivation does not meet local demand. Ghana has a total of 125,000 hectares of land under rice cultivation. Rice is imported to augment local production (of milled rice) from Pakistan, Korea, India, Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam and the United States.
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