05.03.2006 Business & Finance

Trade Fair to assume facilitating, management role- GTFC

05.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March 5, GNA - The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFC) would in the near future divorced itself from organising trade fairs to playing a facilitating and management role. Ms Esther Ofori, CEO of GTFC said the management was looking at the modalities that would transform the company into a facility management company for future fairs.

Addressing journalists on the general trend of this year's fair on Sunday, she said when the company was repositioned and transformed, its main role would be to develop and manage facilities to enable series of fairs to be better organised by private individuals. Ms Ofori said the aim was to pave way for private investors or experts in trade fair organisations to come in and effectively and efficiently run fairs for greater benefits achieved. She said fair organisation was going through changes and noted that these days there has been a shift from promoting general fairs to country solo and specialised exhibitions.

Ms Ofori said analysing past trade fairs there were indications that Ghanaian exhibitors were gradually catching up with the true essence of fairs in terms of patronage and expectations. "For instance there has been more improvement on the past fairs because complaints from exhibitors and even visitors have been less. This shows that both the visitor and the exhibitor are becoming more understanding of trade fairs," she said.

Ms Ofori however, expressed concern about the low participation of SMEs in this year's fair, saying, "Only few of them came this year but (we) have more of them coming from countries within the ECOWAS." According to her, "fairs were generally expensive and as a nation if we had to develop our local entrepreneurial capacity; there was the need to put in measures to support SMEs.

"SMEs should also team up either through partnership or form cooperatives to assist themselves if they must survive in this growing competitive environment.

About 800 exhibitors are attending the 10th Ghana International Trade Fair on the theme: "Networking to unlock Ghana's Trade Potentials." March 05 06

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