25.04.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana goes on trade exhibition in Malabo

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Accra, April 25, GNA - The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) is to mount a Made in Ghana Solo Exhibition in Malabo, the Equatorial Guinean capital, with the aim of fostering stronger business ties between the two countries.

The 10-day event, which is in collaboration with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Federation of Association Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) and the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), takes place on June 1 to 7.

Briefing the media in Accra on Monday, Mr Wilson Atta Krofah, the Vice-President of the GNCCI, explained that the potential of the Equatorial Guinean economy could absorb Made-in-Ghana goods. "It's a virgin market and we must of necessity work at exploiting the potential for the mutual benefit of our economies."

He said the oil rich country has been making steady progress at attracting investment from around the world and Ghana cannot be left behind.

"The Americans, Europeans and Spaniards have already joined the foray and reaping immense benefits.

It is now our turn to showcase what our industrial, agricultural, textile, IT and service sector has to offer."

Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, struck oil a few years ago with oil production rapidly averaging 380,00 barrels a day for the first half of 2004 above the 2003 output of 237, 500 barrels per day. Mr Krofah said initial research of cooperation between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea has proved that the Central African State needed high calibre human resource in agriculture, industrial development and housing sectors as well as in energy, air, maritime, transport, sports, education and tourism.

He said there were currently a number of Ghanaians in Malabo (Fernando Po) and Bata, the two provincial capitals, but there was the need to regularize entry and stay in that country.

"This would ensure that business operators work in a peaceful and cooperative atmosphere without fear of intimidation," he said.

He asked business operators in the chamber and those registered as well as private consultants to take advantage of the solo exhibition to not only market Ghana, but also to use the opportunity to create new frontiers for their businesses while creating job opportunities.

A change of government in Equatorial Guinea in 1972 met with international disapproval with many countries isolating it but relations resumed in the mid-1990's after which Ghana, last year, signed a memorandum of understanding with that country under which Ghana was to benefit from a crude oil deal and business and economic cooperation. This led to a visit to Ghana by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 1997 and reciprocal one by then President Jerry Rawlings in 1998, which ushered in a new economic cooperation between the two countries in the spirit of south-south cooperation.

Ghana and Equatorial Guinea have a Permanent Joint Cooperation Agreement under which Equatorial Guinea agreed to supply Ghana with crude oil for processing and re-export.

A government delegation led by Dr Kwesi Nduom, former Energy Minister, visited Equatorial Guinea last year and signed agreements on the energy, trade and air transport sectors

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