West Africa: 2nd Made-in-Ghana Bazaar Opens in Accra

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration's second Made-in-Ghana Bazaar opened in Accra yesterday with an assurance that challenges being encountered by Ghanaian manufacturers in the ECOWAS market are being addressed.

The assurance follows increasing complaints by Ghanaian manufacturers to the ministry that, despite registering under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), they were facing difficulty transporting and marketing their products within the ECOWAS corridor.

According to the sector minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the situation had affected Ghana's export within the market and that the ministry was using all available diplomatic channels to remove the bottlenecks and shore up the country's export.

"It is important that, all countries who sign up to the protocol adhere to it,"she said at the opening of the two-day bazaar that hosted 200 exhibitors displaying made-in-Ghana products and services, cutting across food and beverages , garments, cosmetics and artworks.

Introduced last year, the annual event on the theme, 'Promoting made-in-Ghana Products abroad', has been adopted by the ministry to promote Ghanaian products and services in support of private sector, to boost exports, create jobs and build linkages with diplomatic missions.

Ms Botchwey said following last year's event which had about 150 exhibitors, brochures had been created with the profiles of the companies for circulation and promotional purposes in the country's missions abroad as well as the ministry's website.

Additionally, she said the ministry had facilitated the participation of the companies in trade fairs and trade missions to more than eight companies, including United Arab Emirates, Russia and USA.

With Ghana selected to host the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, she urged the manufacturers to position themselves well to harness the benefits that come with it, promising that the ministry would leverage diplomacy to support them.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, said the event was in line with efforts by the government to promote trade, grow the economy and achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

He said the government, was on course with it industrialisation agenda with the introduction of tax holidays and incentives for businesses, amongst other measures, to uphold Ghana's stance as the best business destination in Africa.

The CEO of the Ghana Exim Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, pledged the bank's continual support to Ghanaian manufacturers financially, in the promotion of their goods on the international market as well as build their capacities.

On behalf of the private sector, the President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, in a speech read on his behalf, lauded the initiative, and whilst asking the government to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, advised manufacturers to ensure product quality to court consumer confidence.

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