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16.10.2003 Business & Finance

Ghana Expo Starts Today In London

By NANA SIFA TWUM, LONDON
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Today, in London, Ghana is striding for yet another high grounds in its bid to secure a reputable place on the world market through exhibition. At the prestigious Alexandra palace in London, over 500 Ghanaian small and medium scale companies are exhibiting their wares to show case the countries rich but untapped economic, investment as well as international trade potentials.

The event will be opened by the Vice President, and attended by high ranking government officials from around the world, international business executives as well as traditional and religious leaders.

Major producers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, consumers and policy makers from Ghana and Europe are expected to participate in the exhibition which is on the theme, "Golden Age of business; A reality". The theme is in line with the vision of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Mr J.A. Kuffour who made the declaration at his swearing-in ceremony on assumption of office.

The exhibition dubbed Ghana Expo 2003, is being organised by Expo Africa Limited and sponsored by a number of local and international organisations. Among other things the objectives of the GHANA EXPO 2003 will be to promote and expose the trade and Investment opportunities in Ghana to the world market.

GHANA EXPO 2003 is unique by way of exhibitions on Ghana. Most investment fairs on Ghana both inside and outside the country have dealt with specific sectors like Housing, Agro Transport among others. For the first time in the history of Ghanaian trade and investment, a trade fair is being held on the entire economy of the country.

The exhibition will provide insight into the country’s trade ranging from Agro-Processing, Food & Drink, Textiles & Garments, Minerals & Extraction, Construction, Travel & Tourism, Financial Services, Automotive Industry, Transportation, Energy & Power etc.

It would present Ghana's competitive advantage in Africa in terms of trade partnership; establish the image of Ghana as a reliable source of supply for a variety of raw materials, finished products and quality affordable labour; establish new and strengthen existing trading partnership; expose the existing trade and investment opportunities, growth potentials and the sound economic climate that exist in Ghana.

The event will also seek to bring together the business community from both Europe and other parts of the world to share economic ideas and possible partnership for potential investment programs in Ghana. Other interesting aspects of the programme will include live weaving of the world famous Kente Cloth, Baskets and Pot making.

The Government of Ghana recognises the need for the private sector to take an active role in its ambitious growth plan of achieving middle-income status by the year 2010. It has therefore provided several attractive incentives for the private sector to invest heavily in the country. These incentives and guarantees will be highlighted during investment seminar, which will be conducted concurrently with the exhibition.

There is considerable scope to develop most of the infrastructure type industries in Ghana and the Ghanaians are keen to have Joint Venture partners in these areas. UK expertise, particularly in the field of consultancy is highly regarded. Consequently, many opportunities exist for UK providers of serv! ices and Ghanaian exhibitors and business community who are participating would take good advantage of this.

There is no doubt that Ghana is a good market for a broad range of consumer goods on the world market and UK goods are associated with quality, with many brands in evidence.

Britain being the largest investor in Ghana, with an estimated £500 million investment makes the venue for the exhibition more appropriate. It would not only saturate the already good trading relationship but more importantly, provide strong bond of corporation between the two counties. In all, there are 141 companies with British equity registered with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. There are a number of opportunities for potential investors:

The Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu would surely be the ‘shining star’ for the event by way of exhibition of rich Ghanaian culture. The historic bond between the Asantis and the British would be remembered as the Otumfour host a royal dinner possibly to be attended by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and other royals and dignitaries from around the world.

The climax of Ghana Expo 2003 will be a grand durbar at which the Asantehene will sit in state to receive homage from people from all walks of live.

The King has already commended the organisers of Ghana Expo 2003 for their foresight, dedication, selflessness and patriotism. He has also expressed the optimism that Ghana Expo 2003 will surely enhance attempts to attract investment to Ghana.

We all looking forward for the fulfilment of the king’s prophecy and all of us will enjoy the outcome.

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