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16.02.2005 Business & Finance

Expo Africa 2005 launched

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Accra Feb. 16, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, on Wednesday launched the first Expo Africa, saying it was an opportunity to expose Ghanaian businesses to larger markets and attract investors into the country.

"Ghanaian businesses should therefore be professional as there is going to be competition between other African countries."

Expo Africa 2005, aims at promoting inter-regional trade and investment between Africa and the US.

The fair, which would take place between September 29 and October 2, is a collaborative venture between Global Media Alliance and Expo Africa Limited.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre could facilitate the successful participation of Ghanaian entrepreneurs by exposing them to training sessions that would project the best of Ghana and Africa.

Mr Edward Boateng, Managing Director of Global Media Alliance, said the vision of Expo Africa was to present Africa as a trade and investment destination.

Listing other objectives, Mr Boateng said the event would establish Africa as a reliable source for the supply of raw materials and finished products.

The event would also expose the American audience to the beauty and diversity of African culture and position Africa as a major export outlet for repackaged goods for the US and other regional markets.

Mr Boateng said Expo Africa was expected to attract about 1,500 exhibiting companies from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and a host of other African countries. "Over 10,000 attendees will also visit Georgia World Congress Centre in Atlanta. Expo Africa 2005 will provide a forum for global investors to explore Africa's potential in all sectors."

Answering questions on the cost involved for the participating companies, Mr Boateng said the organizers had not settled on a specific fee.

The closing date for registration of Expo Africa 2005 is May 15, 2005.

Sectors expected to display their products include: agro-processing, electronics, information technology, food industry, textiles and garments, financial services, travel and tourism and non-traditional exports.

Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Acting Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, testified that Ghana Expo 2003 and 2004 in Atlanta, were successful and pledged the ministry's support for Expo Africa 2005. He said the one of the country's trade policies was to promote multi-lateral trade.

Ms Angela Dawkins, Commercial Attach=E9 at the US Commercial Service said Expo 2005 would create an opportunity for the American community to learn about Africa.

She said her organization would offer support to businesses that wanted to participate by way of acquiring visas and training. 16 Feb. 05

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