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29.04.2004 Business & Finance

World Exposition 2005 launched

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Accra, April 29, GNA - World Exposition 2005, to be held in Aichi in Japan was on Thursday formally launched in Accra with a call on small-scale industrialists to take advantage of the occasion to capture the Japanese market to reap economic benefits.

Over 15 million participants from 130 countries and eight organisations throughout the world would take part in the exposition, which would begin from March 15 to September 30, next year under the theme: "Nature's Wisdom".

Ghana, which has chosen a sub theme: "Sustainable Development of Natural Resources - A Key to Wealth Creation", is among 30 African countries, which have registered to participate in the Exposition.

Hajia Alima Mahama, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI), who launched the Exposition, said it "will be a place to deepen exchanges among different cultures and ethnicities, through the participation of a great number of countries and peoples to create a wonderful opportunity that will be passed unto the next generation".

She said Ghana would want to use the sub theme to underscore her commitment to sustainable environmental management as it recognised that the environment within which present generation found itself had been available for all generations.

Hajia Mahama said a 12-member National Planning Committee for the World Expo 2005 had already developed the strategic area of focus of the country's participation and the probable products for the six-month exhibition.

She mentioned the selected products to include, traditional spices, processed food, cocoa products, handicrafts and art works and samples from Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

Hajia Mahama said the Committee would ensure the exhibition of only quality and standard products during the Expo and called on all companies that wished to take part to apply through the schedule officer at the Ministry of Trade early enough to avoid disappointment.

She said that this was the second time that Ghana would be taking part in a World Exposition after participating in the Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany and encouraged the National Planning Committee to critically study difficulties encountered to avoid recurrence. Mr Koichi Mizushima, The Charge D'Affairs of the Japanese Embassy, noted that the Expo would be "a rare and precious occasion for the Japanese as well as people from around the world to experience little known cultures from Ghana and exchange ideas with its people", which he said was the very heart of the Exposition.

Mr Mizushima said Japan had decided to support participants from Ghana in terms of preparation of pavilions and would sponsor Ghanaian officials travelling to Japan for the Exposition.

Mr Kwaku Adu-Mensah, General Manager of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), said although Ghana had enjoyed economic assistance from Japan, Japanese knew little about its economic potentials.

He expressed the hope that World Expo 2005 would attract many Ghanaian products.