A Canary Island company, Canary Impex, has announced the establishment of a new logistic operation in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to create a distribution centre for the growing number of Spanish products finding their way to West Africa.
In statements made to Tenerife-based and government-sponsored 'Africainfomarket', Canary Impex Director Ricardo Rodríguez Steudel explains that the project has been realised after analysing the problems typically faced by Spanish companies when trying to enter West African markets such as Ghana. The project is to cover the entire Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) market.
"The main obstacle is the payment of the exported goods or when no sales agreement can be reached, Mr Rodríguez says." The solution we can offer Spanish firms, being in the country of destination, is to supervise the sales and to send him the amount in euros as soon as it has been paid."
Canary Impex says it aims at closing an open process, which normally begins when the exporter invoices an amount in euros and the importer pays in a local currency - for example Ghana's cedis, which not are freely exchangeable. "What we are doing is redirecting and reconverting, as we are buying African crude products which we ship to Europe and convert into European Union currency and again are able to use to pay out Spanish exports in hard currency," according to Mr Rodríguez.
In addition to handle these currency services, the Canary Island-based company dedicates parts of its operations toward "the search for new costumers that are interested in exporting determined products to enter a market that is growing beyond all predictions." Spanish products - in particular everyday commodities - are increasingly seen in West African markets and shops.
Mr Rodríguez assures that Ghana is a safe country when it comes to foreign investments and trade. Within the West African region, Ghana has turned into a development and democratic role model, whose economy is focused on the busy port of Tema.
Currently, demands on the Ghanaian consumer markets are rapidly growing, and infrastructure and communications are steadily improved. With a GDP per capita far above most West African countries - US$ 2,300 compared to US$ 1,800 in Senegal - an increasing middle class with unfulfilled consumer demands is developing in Ghana, Mr Rodríguez assures.