ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire), Sept 21, GNA - Ghana will deepen its trade and economic relations with La Cote d'Ivoire and other countries in the sub-region to ensure that together they are able to survive the global competitive environment.
Lt. Colonel Enoch K.T. Donkor (Retired), Ghana's Ambassador to La Cote d'Ivoire, said it was high time the countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) redoubled their efforts to boost trade among themselves to enhance economic and social
Lt Col Donkor was speaking during the opening session of a ten-day solo exhibition of Made in Ghana Products being held at the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Ghana Embassy in Abidjan.
The exhibition, the first to be held in Abidjan, seeks among other objectives to promote increased and sustained export of Ghanaian products and services in La Cote d'Ivoire and encourage joint ventures between Ghanaian businesses and the Ivorian counterparts.
It is also to deepen bilateral trade relations between the two countries and to strengthen Ghana's trade balance vis-à-vis La Cote d'Ivoire.
The ECOWAS market alone accounts for close to 30 percent of Ghana's non-traditional exports.
Lt. Col. Donkor said the re-emergence of La Cote d'Ivoire from the political crisis that engulfed the country provided new opportunities for business operators from Ghana to tap into.
He urged the business operators to take advantage of the opportunities to explore partnerships with their Ivorian counterparts, adding that the Ghanaian Embassy was ready to facilitate contacts with the Ivorian business community.
Lt. Col. Donkor was happy about the large women participation, saying it was critical and that sustained exposure would help sharpen women entrepreneurial capabilities.
In a speech read for him, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephen Normeshie, said the ECOWAS market, with key players such as Nigeria and La Cote d'Ivoire, held a big potential for Ghanaian products and improvement in intra-trade for rapid socio-economic
“The organisation of this exhibition is therefore to demonstrate our belief in trade with our neighbouring countries first before we think of going any further,” Normeshie said.
He said the Ghanaian businesses look forward to interactions with their Ivorian counterparts to create more lasting joint ventureships and other forms of partnerships for their mutual benefit.
Mr Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, Director of Export Trade at the Ministry of Trade, said government was pursuing aggressive export-led policy with the focus on trade with countries in the sub-region.
He expressed dissatisfaction about the decline in bilateral trade between the two countries in some products and called for efforts to reverse the trend, saying the exhibition was part of steps being taken by Ghana to ensure that intra-African trade took root to enhance regional market integration.
Mr Nyarko-Mensah called for efforts to boost investment among businesses of the two countries, adding that efforts to enhance cross-border trade facilitation, common external tariffs and
harmonization should help promote intra-trade.
The first exhibition ever to be held in La Cote d'Ivoire has a large array of Exhibitors from cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, aluminum products and educational institutions to show case their products.
It is on the theme: “Promoting Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire Trade in pursuit of ECOWAS Trade Development.”
Mr Alex Dzadzawa, Deputy Director Marketing and Promotion Division, and leader of the delegation lauded the support and contribution of the Embassy towards the successful organization of the exhibition.