The government is in talks with a Dubai-based firm, Eagle Hills, to transform the Ghana Trade Fair Centre (GTFC) at La in Accra into a multi-purpose trade centre through a US$1 billion joint venture.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Mr Dawarnoba Baeka, who said this in Dubai, explained that the move was in line with the government’s plans to bring the once vibrant GTFC back to its feet.
Mr Baeka said the Eagle Hills, which prides itself as experts in urbanisation, was prepared to invest that amount to transform the centre.
“The sector minister will be leading a team to Dubai to finalise the joint-venture agreement so the programme can take off by the end of this year,” he said at the Ghana Business Forum held in Dubai.
The forum formed part of Ghana’s participation in this year’s Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo (MENOPE).
The business forum was held on the theme: ‘Promoting Quality Products to Maximise Market Opportunities’.
Mr Baeka said government deemed it important to develop trade between Ghana and the Middle East as the region had become a growing destination for exports from Ghana, especially non-traditional exports (NTEs).
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Gideon Quarcoo, said the authority was working with other agencies to streamline professional services into the NTEs portfolio.
“The authority’s focus has been to diversify Ghana’s export base from the traditional exports to NTEs. With professional services, we are talking about Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), business process outsourcing, education, medical tourism and centres of excellence such as the cardiothoracic centre,” he said.
Government has for a long time been searching for a strategic investor locally and internationally to revive the centre, which was formerly a magnificent structure notable for hosting important fairs.
Currently, most of its structures are in deplorable state making it partly unsafe and unattractive to host exhibitions and fairs.
The centre is to showcase the works of industrialists in the country as part of efforts to promote made-in-Ghana goods as well as serve as a hub for other countries within the sub-region to exhibit their products and services.
Notable fairs previously hosted by the GTFC included the Industrial and Technology Fair (INDUTECH), the Ghana Industry and Furniture Exhibition (GIFEX) and grand sales.
Mr Baeka said the investment would raise the image of the centre to international standards to enable Ghana to attract more exhibitors in future fairs.