Free Zones showcase Ghanaian businesses to regional market

BY: Business Desk
Mr Michael Ocquaye Jnr. in a group photo with some officials

The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has embarked on a robust program to showcase Ghanaian businesses and products to the regional and international markets.

As part of this drive, the GFZA recently took part in the second edition of the ‘Ghana Business Expo’ in Abidjan.

The three-day event organized by Global Afrique Ltd. between 15th and 17th September 2021 had as its primary focus an objective to help introduce Ghanaian businesses and products to the Ivorian market whilst also creating trading and economic opportunities for both Ghanaian and Ivorian companies.

Leading the Ghanaian delegation to the expo was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GFZA, Mr Michael Oquaye Jnr who also chaired a seminar organized on the side-lines of the expo to share ideas on trading and business development.

He was accompanied by Mr. Kwame Nsiah Asante, Director of Estate and Zones, Mrs. Patience Acorlor, Director GFZA Tema Regional Office, Ms. Anita Novi Quashie Marketing and Promotions Manager, and other staff members from GFZA.

In attendance at the expo was the Minister Plenipotentiary (Economic and Political) of the Ghana Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Moses Envolah who represented the Ghana Ambassador in Cote d`Ivoire; high ranking representative of the Ivorian Customs who educated participating Ghanaian businesses on the tax and tariff systems in Cote d’Ivoire and duties aligned to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Officials of the Ivorian Food and Drugs Authority (CODINORM) were also present to apprise the Ghanaian companies of standards and certification for entry into the Ivorian market.

Read; Ghana Free Zones Authority licenses 16 new companies - Combined investment valued at $183m

More avenues for trade

Making his opening remarks, Mr Oquaye Jnr expressed his delight at seeing businesses in the two sister countries create more avenues for trade investments.

He was hopeful the Business Expo would create a deeper linkage between Ghana and Cote d`Ivoire to ensure a quicker economic recovery from the Covid-19 scourge.

According to him “Statistics shows that in 2019, Ghana exported $114 million worth of goods mainly made up of unglazed ceramics, used clothing, and synthetic filament yarn woven fabric to Cote d’Ivoire.” “In the same year under discussion, Cote d’Ivoire also exported $234 worth of goods to Ghana” he added.

He advised Ghanaian businesses participating in the expo to take advantage of the opportunities presented under AfCFTA and enter into joint ventures with their counterparts from Cote d’Ivoire to create economies of scale to better serve the whole of Africa.

Industry meetings

The GFZA CEO and his team took the opportunity to have private industry meetings with several Ivorian institutions, notable amongst these are the Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Cote d’Ivoire (CEPICI) and the Village des Technologies de L’Information et de la Biotechnologie de Cote d’Ivoire (VITIB).

The team also travelled to VITIB Free Zones in Grande Bassam where they met with the Chief Executive Officer of VITIB - the Free Zones Authority in Cote d`Ivoire, Dr. Philippe A. Pango.

Discussions centered on investment opportunities flowing into Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and how the two countries could build synergies to attract more investments.