The second business focus on Ghana instituted by Howard County in the State of Maryland, United States, ended last Friday April 16, 2004 with over forty companies and individual representations.
Mr. Richard W.Story, the Chief Executive Officer, Howard County Economic Development Authority in an address said Ghana was chosen by the County last year as a focus of business promotion in West Africa because of the political stability in the country and the prospects for mutual economic benefits to both countries.
He promised Howard County's annual support for the festival and expressed the hope that the festival would grow from strength to strength.
The business festival which addressed issues on Information Technology/Telecommunication, Tourism/Hospitality and Agribusiness was also addressed by Jeanette M.Higgins , Chair of Howard County Economic Development Authority International Trade Committee who disclosed that a trade delegation from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development will visit Ghana in June 2004 to explore business opportunities and meet with influential public and private sector leaders .The trade mission will also tap into commercial opportunities for Maryland companies.
Mr. Isaac Aggrey, Acting Ambassador to the Ghana Mission in Washington,DC. while exchanging pleasantries, receiving a flag of the county from Mr. Story, also thanked the executive of the HCCDA for their interest in Ghana and hoped that they would take advantage of the numerous economic projects ongoing in the country especially the presidential initiatives.
Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah Minister Counselor of Public Affairs at the Embassy who spoke on Tourism and Hospitality in Ghana, said the economic history of Ghana from the 1950s to the 80s showed little consideration for the development of tourism.For the last 17 years however, he explained that considerable time and money had gone into the industry with a co-ordial public-private sector co-operation aimed at maximising the benefits in the industry.
''Tourism is contributing to economic growth in Ghana more then at any period since independence in 1957 and as a consequence helping to build our portifolio of foreign revenue." Mr. Agyeman-Duah said. The opportunities are not only in the services sectors but infrastructure development and expansion.
Mr. Johnson Adasi, Minister Counselor of Trade and Investment at the Embassy speaking on Ghana Investment Potential-Agribusiness told the gathering to be interested in Agribusiness in Ghana especially investment in machinery that will help arrest post-harvest loses and handling process especially in areas of farm products ware-housing and storage.
Other speakers included Matthew D. Woodlee, International Trade Specialist of the U.S. department of Commerce, TimZ. Shi, President and CEO of E.C. Tech, U.S.A. which is currently developing a free zone enclave for high-tec and other products in the Western region of Ghana.
The Ghana Day business focus was instituted last year will every year celebrate business promotion in Ghana at Howard County.It will be jointly organised with the Embassy of Ghana in Washington and others.