(AGI) - Accra, 16 Aug. - Benin has requested Ghana to assist it in the area of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Dahomeyan embayment in that country. It expects Ghana to share geological and geophysical data with that country and further provide a framework for the exploitation of wells within the embayment. Officials of that country also want Ghana to share best practices in the oil and gas industry with particular interest in petroleum engineering and reservoir management as part of efforts to develop that country's oil and gas sector. Accordingly the two countries have signed a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the issues at the closing ceremony of the second consultative experts meeting in Accra. The agreement was signed last Friday as a prelude to reactivation of the Ghana/Benin Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC). Other areas of cooperation include fisheries, security and immigration, drug trafficking, tourism and sports, education and communication, among other sectors. The meeting saw the experts deliberate and develop realistic road maps for the realisation of the agreed areas. The two countries are thus expected to sign bilateral agreements on the cooperation areas at the next session of the Ghana/Benin PJCC meeting to be held in Cotonou in June 2017. At the signing ceremony, the Deputy Director of the Africa and Regional Integration Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bonaventure Adjavor, indicated that Ghana was also seeking a review of the air services agreement with the Benin government to include market access and a free traffic regime. According to him, the Beninois delegation called for the establishment of a direct air link from Accra to Cotonou to ease travelling challenges between the two countries. To that end, Mr Adjavor said Ghana's draft Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) would be made available to Benin for consideration, while technical discussions would be held to finalise the processes to the establishment of the direct travel links. Mr Adjavor also indicated that the experts agreed to a review of policies that would enhance free trade, as the free cargo movement of freight between the Abidjan-Accra-Lome-Cotonou and Lagos corridor had challenges. He, however, expressed regret that the two countries had not been able to ratify the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) signed between them in 2001. The Director of Neighbouring Countries, Mr Paulin Agbetokpanhoun, who led the Beninois delegation, expressed appreciation to the Ghanaian government for agreeing to reactivate the PJCC. "Our visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital exposed us to many services which are not readily available in Benin and we are determined to ensure Ghana provides the necessary capacity for our professionals to enable us to improve our healthcare systems back in Benin", Mr Agbetokpanhoun said. (AGI) .