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27.07.2005 Business & Finance

Encourage networking to attract banking institutions - Aliu

GNA

Accra, July 27, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Wednesday urged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to build bridges and work in partnership to become more competitive and attractive to banking institutions and international trade organisations.

He said the dawn and advance of information and communication technology had reduced time and space, hence as economic operators, they could only take the advantage by networking among themselves and with their foreign counterparts.

The Vice President said this in a speech read for him by Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Trade and Industry Minister to launched the 10th Ghana International Trade Fair scheduled to take place from February 22 to March 7, 2006 under the theme: "Networking to Unlock Ghana's Trade Potentials."

Vice President Mahama said sound macro-economic policies alone were not sufficient to propel Ghana to an accelerated growth path, so there was the need to evolve other sector-specific policies and also implement activities that would facilitate the establishment of partnership by the private sector locally and internationally

On Ghana's long-term strategic vision, the Vice President said, "in order to achieve an annual average growth of 8.6 per cent, we had the country needed to diversify her export base and significantly increase the non-traditional exports.

"Every effort should be made to tap the numerous trade and industrial potentials, which are available in the country," he said. He announced that the country's trade policy was currently being translated into a trade sector support programme with the implementation plan spanning a period of five years.

Vice President Mahama said this would be the main programme for the realisation of the Trade and Industry Ministry's tow of parallel strategies of export-led industrialisation and domestic market-led industrialisation based on import competition. He expressed the hope that the fair would offer the platform for the local and foreign business operators to network and exchange useful and reliable information and ideas needed for the development of the economy. Vice President Mahama urged foreign trade partners and other economic operators as well as industrialists within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take advantage of Ghana's good business environment to fully participate in the fair. Ms Esther Ofori, Chief Executive of Ghana Trade Fair Company, said the coming fair envisaged a substantial increase of about 22 per cent more than the 2004 figures in terms of participants and space allocation.

She said the round pavilion, which was designed to be an African Pavilion by the First President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah would be revived to promote the ECOWAS integration efforts. Mrs Ofori said all the 16-member states of ECOWAS were expected to participate in the fair to further strengthen the contacts that would be made during the 4th ECOWAS Fair to be held in Lagos, Nigeria in October this year.

She said the fair would as usual be multi-sectoral with special attention to made in Ghana goods adding: "...Everything would be done to provide an efficient and reliable platform to enable participants promote their products and transact business during the fair." 27 July 05

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