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23.02.2007 Business & Finance

President urges SMEs to take advantage of enabling business environment

By The Chronicle

President urges SMEs to take advantage of enabling business environment

President John Agyekum Kufour has called on the business community, especially Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), to take advantage of the enabling business environment to forge strategic partnerships for expanding trade and enhanced market access.

The President made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and Presidential Special Initiative, Mr. Alan Kyeremanten when he formally opened The 11th Ghana International Trade Fair. Dubbed “Golden Jubilee Fair,” the event was held at the forecourt of the Ghana International Trade Fair Center.

President Kufour said the theme for the fair, “Championing African Excellence” was appropriate, as it provided a good opportunity to showcase Ghana's industrial, technological and commercial achievements over the past 50 years. He also said the event allowed for fruitful exchange with businesses within the sub-region and the world at large.

He said 50 years in the life of a nation provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of past experiences and challenges that have confronted the country in terms of business development and private sector growth.

“We can say without a doubt that trade fairs and exhibitions have contributed significantly to increasing Ghana's domestic trade as well as our share of the global market,” he said.

Over the years, trade fairs have been instrumental in the development and growth of businesses from small to medium scale, increasing income levels and creating jobs, he continued. Hence, the government is committed to exploring all avenues to develop the trade fair to an international standard.

President Kufour urged businesses to take advantage of the atmosphere created by the government to stimulate investment opportunities and spur growth by providing a common platform for manufacturers, traders, exporters, importers and all categories of service providers to showcase what they have to offer to the world.

Ms. Ester D. Ofori, Chief Executive of the Ghana Trade Fair Company said the company's vision is to develop and manage a world-class expo and conference center to compete with the best in the world and to make the Ghana Trade Fair Center an international showpiece in Africa.

She said she was hopeful that the center's operations would be complimentary to on-going initiatives aimed at projecting Ghana as the “Gateway for trade and investment in the West African Region.”

Over one million local and foreign participants are expected at this year's fair.