The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, has asked Ghanaian companies to concentrate more on proper and innovative packaging of their products in the country.
That, she said would position them well to penetrate the international market and compete with other firms.
“One of the major reasons why Ghanaian firms, especially those in the manufacturing sector, continuously find it difficult to penetrate the international market is their packaging,” Mrs Twum-Ampofo said at a workshop on packaging and labelling on Tuesday April 25, in Accra.
The workshop was organised by USAID and West Africa Trade and Investment Hub project (Trade Hub) was aimed at equipping participants with the technical-know-how to improve their packaging skills.
About 30 women entrepreneurs selected from four chapters of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) which includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo, operating within various sectors including textile, cosmetic, agro-processing, fruits and vegetables.
The principal objective of this workshop is to provide AWEP member companies with practical solutions for their packaging needs to enable their products be more attractive and competitive in local and international markets.
Mr Twum\-Ampofo said there was the need for young Ghanaian firms to have an innovative design team that had the know-how to develop appealing designs that could attract the consumer, adding that 80 per cent of products consumed were from the outlook and, therefore, companies must do well to add more to the packaging of their products.
The minister underscored that multinational companies that had achieved so much and continued to gain more grounds were doing so because of their appealing packaging.
“If your products fail to get the attention of the people you are in for big trouble,” she added.
Elsewhere in the developed countries, Mrs Twum\-Ampofo observed that companies spent so much in packaging their products to suit their brands, adding, “people love to associate themselves with solid brands.”
She commended the management of USAID and West Africa Trade and Investment Hub project (Trade Hub) and urged them to continue to invest in entrepreneurs in the country.
For his part, the Value Chain Development Specialist with the West Africa Trade Investment Hub, Mr Bill Noble, said the workshop was organised to provide export oriented companies with the needed guidance on good business packaging practices as part of efforts to strengthen their capacities for taking advantage of intra-regional and international trade.
“The workshop would help stimulate start-ups with high growth potential, while accelerating the growth of existing businesses in this field,” he added.
He observed that concentrating on proper packaging would enable local companies to realise the full potential in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade initiative.
“Ghanaian exporters, particularly small and medium enterprises, have not utilised fully the benefits accruing to them under the programme although there is a huge market potential for Ghanaian exporters in the United States,” he said.
“The Trade Hub will continue to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the desired benefits under AGOA are realised within the 10 year extension period,” he added.