The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has embarked on a strong program to showcase Ghanaian companies and products to regional and international markets. As part of this momentum, GFZA recently participated in the second edition of ‘Ghana Business Expo’ in Abidjan.
The three-day event organized by Global Afrique Ltd. The main objective of September 15-17 was to help introduce Ghanaian businesses and products to the Ivorian market, while creating business and economic opportunities for Ghanaian and Ivorian businesses. At the head of the Ghanaian delegation to the exhibition, Ambassador Michael Oquaye Jnr., The Managing Director (CEO) of GFZA chaired a seminar organized on the sidelines of the exhibition to share ideas on trade and the development of business.
He was accompanied by Kwame Nsiah Asante, director of the estate and zones; Patience Acorlor, Director of the Regional Office of GFZA Tema; Anita Novi Quashie, Marketing and Promotions Manager, other GFZA staff and Oheneba Kwame Darko, Business Development and International Trade Consultant, Ghana Business Expo organizer.
The Minister Plenipotentiary (Economic and Political) of the Embassy of Ghana in Côte d’Ivoire, Moses Envolah, who represented the Ambassador of Ghana in Côte d’Ivoire, was present at the exhibition; senior Ivorian customs representative who trained participating Ghanaian companies on tax and tariff systems in Côte d’Ivoire and duties aligned with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Officials from the Ivorian Food and Medicines Authority (CODINORM) were also present to inform Ghanaian companies of standards and certification for entry into the Ivorian market.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Oquaye Junior expressed his joy at seeing companies from the two brotherly countries create more opportunities for business investments.
He hoped that the Business Expo would create a closer link between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to ensure a faster economic recovery from the scourge of Covid-19.
According to him, “statistics show that in 2019, Ghana exported $ 114 million worth of goods mainly composed of unglazed ceramics, used clothing and woven fabrics of synthetic filaments to Côte d’Ivoire.” “During the same year under discussion, Côte d’Ivoire also exported $ 234 million worth of goods to Ghana,” he added.
Mr. Oquaye Junior advised Ghanaian companies participating in the exhibition to take advantage of the opportunities presented under AfCFTA and enter into joint ventures with their counterparts in Côte d’Ivoire to create economies of scale to better serve the whole of Africa.
The CEO of GFZA and his team took the opportunity to have private industry meetings with several Ivorian institutions, including the Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI) and the Village des Technologies de L ‘ Information and Biotechnology of Côte d’Ivoire (VITIB).
The team also visited the VITIB free zones in Grande Bassam where they met the Director General of VITIB – the Free Zones Authority in Côte d’Ivoire, Dr Philippe A. Pango. Discussions focused on investment opportunities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and how the two countries could create synergies to attract more investment.