Ghana's High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Kabral Blay-Amihere has announced that about 30 Ghanaian companies will take part in an international trade fair in Freetown from April 21-May 1, 2005.
The trade fair is being organised by the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in partnership with the Association of Ghana Industries.
The companies which will be exhbiting a wide range of goods from textiles to industrial tools are all members of the Association of Ghana Industries.
Speaking at a press conference organised by the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce to launch the trade fair, Mr Blay-Amihere said that the fair should serve as an opportunity for enterpreneurs of Ghana and Sierra Leone to deepen the already existing close relations between the two countries.
The AGI last year in collaboration with the Ghana High Commission in Freetown, and the Ghana Export Promotion Council held a successful Solo Made-in-Ghana Goods Exhbition in Freetown and had planned another one from April 8-13, 2005.
The participation of Ghanaian companies in the trade fair will be the third in three successive years. The first occasion, which also included sporting and cultural activities featuring the national soccer team Black Stars was in October 2002.
Explaining the reason for the decison to hold a joint trade fair with the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Blay-Amihere said the decision was in the spirit of South-South,ECOWAS co-operation.
"The whole idea of ECOWAS and the African Union can only find meaning through activities like trade and other exchanges which Ghana and Sierra Leone are pursuing vigorously", he said.
Welcoming the participation of the AGI in the trade fair which will coincide with the 44th Indepedence Anniversary of Sierra Leone, Dr. Khadi Sesay, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Sierra Leone said that her Ministry was committed totally to regional cooperation.
According to her, trading has always served as a useful vehicle for realising the goal of integration of people in the sub-region.
She said manufacturers and traders in the two countries stand to gain from the trade fair and urged greater collaboration between entrepreneurs in the two countries.
The President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce also expressed his pleasure at the decision of the Ghana High Commission and AGI to suspend the Solo Made-In-Ghana Trade Fair and merge it with the international trade fair.
"This will make this year's trade fair one with a difference", he said.
He announced that companies from China will also take part in the trade fair.
Ghanaian goods have found favourable patronage in Sierra Leone since the first Ghana-Sierra Leone Week held in 2002 and can be found at supermarkets and other trading outlets.