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15.04.2004 General News

Ghanaian trade delegation to visit Montego Bay

By Monique Hepburn
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A 32-MEMBER trade delegation from Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana, West Africa, will this week be visiting Montego Bay in jamaica, to meet with small business interests to establish, local city leaders say, new trade linkages between both cities.

The visit, arranged by the London Small Business Growth Initiatives Limited, is being co-ordinated by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO). The Mayor of Kumasi, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, will be leading Ghana's delegation, which also includes other government officials and business people.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Doris Parchment, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the newly-revived Montego Bay Small Business Association, said Montego Bay was selected by the Ghanaians because it has similarities to Kumasi.

"The delegation sent us a proposal and in it they specified that they wanted to set up trade links with Montego Bay," Ms. Parchment said. " They saw certain parallels with their city and ours."


According to Ms. Parchment, the delegates are seeking to create business linkages between entrepreneurs involved in tourism, art and craft, fashion and textile products and agriculture. The Ghanaians, she said, are also aiming to tap into the skill bank of the Jamaican hotel and tourism workforce and to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between Kumasi and Montego Bay.

Ms. Parchment, who makes annual pilgrimages to Africa, said she is proud to be affiliated with the venture and urges small business owners to "capitalise on the visit." She noted that she has had to revive the Small Business Association "as entrepreneurs have been missing out on grants and other forms of assistance."

She said: "There are more small business around now than before and if our businesses are to grow we have to come together."