Accra, April 14 GNA - Mr. Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday underscored the need for Ghanaian businessmen and exporters to look within Africa for their market access. He said African countries had in the past found it relatively easier to look outside Africa for trading partners, especially in Europe and the United States.
Mr. Asiedu was speaking at the launch of the Ghana -Botswana Expo 2005 in Accra.
The exhibition, which will take place in Gaborone from May 4-8, 2005, is on the theme: "Promoting investment and integration through trade and culture".
It also seeks to promote stronger ties between Ghana and Botswana as well as the whole of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Mr. Asiedu said the aim of the Expo was to showcase Botswana as Africa's success story with unique tourist destinations and vast investment opportunities, while Ghana is presented as a trade and investment gateway to the ECOWAS sub-region and as a reliable source of raw materials, finished quality products and an affordable source of skilled manpower.
He said the exhibition presented an opportunity for achieving the goals of developing an export-oriented industrialization and domestic market competitiveness regime, which is the core of Ghana's Trade Policy.
"There is no doubt that Ghana's partnership with Botswana, which is by far the richest country in Africa, with one of the most impressive foreign reserves in the world will certainly bring Ghana closer to realizing her dream of becoming a middle income earning country by 2015", he said.
Mrs. Faustina N. Ampratwum, Director, Trade and Exhibition, of the MTI
urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the exhibition to explore the untapped Botswana market. She said government was subsidising the exhibitors at the fair by paying for the stands and the freight of the products from Accra to Gaborone.