More and more German medium-sized enterprises are regarding Ghana as a relevant target market. The limited access to attractive and tailored financing solutions however represents a major obstacle for facilitating the exchange of goods between German SMEs and their local partners.
Financing and advice for medium-sized companies
With support from the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in close cooperation with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs), the German Investment and Development Cooperation DEG has created a service to close these financing gaps: the German Desk - Financial Support and Solutions. DEG brought Access Bank (Ghana) Plc on board as its banking partner.
On the occasion of the German-African Business Summit (GABS) in Accra, Dr Gerd Müller, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, opened the “German Desk Ghana” on 11 February 2019, together with Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana's Minister for Finance. It is the third German Desk in Africa.
Cooperation of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc, DEG and AHK Ghana
In practical terms, the German Desk Ghana will provide financing solutions for local companies wishing to acquire German equipment or services. This also includes financial services, such as setting up accounts, providing short to medium-term credit lines, services for financing trade, and transaction banking. Companies benefit from the combined network of Access Bank, AHK Ghana and DEG. The German Desk also contributes to preparing direct investments of German SMEs.
“DEG is pleased to open a German Desk together with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce and Access Bank, which will help intensify the links between German and Ghanaian companies,” said Christiane Laibach, Chairwoman of DEG’s Management Board, on the occasion of the launch in Accra.
“The partnership with DEG is the first of its kind in Ghana and reflects our success story in Nigeria. We take advantage of our partners’ global investment experience and our strong local industry expertise to close the financing gaps hampering trade activities in Ghana and the sub-region”, said Roosevelt Ogbonna, Deputy Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc.
Dr Martin Wansleben, Chief Executive of DIHK, emphasised the importance of having a German Desk especially at a time when access to adequate funding is often a challenge in young emerging markets. He stated that the German Desk would make a huge contribution to the overall business cooperation between Ghana and Germany by increasing the competitiveness of German companies in Ghana.
The global network of German Desks ranges from Peru, through Kenya and Nigeria to Indonesia and Bangladesh. The German Desk - Financial Support and Solutions in Ghana is already the second of its kind established by Access Group Bank and DEG. The first one, opened in Nigeria in October 2018, has been very well accepted.