First ever Australia-Africa trade and investment exhibition organised

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Some Ghanaian exhibitors
Some Ghanaian exhibitors

The first ever Australia-Africa Trade and Investment exhibition was held at the Yagan Square in Perth, Australia, last Saturday with an assurance that Australia would continue to create stable and conducive environment for Africa businesses to thrive.

The Minister for Tourism, Racing and Gaming, Small Businesses, Defence Issues, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, Mr Paul Papalia who opened the exhibition said it was time for the two continents to deeply embrace diversity to promote investment and growth.

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The exhibition was organised by the Africa community in Western Australia with funding from the Commonwealth Bank of Western Australia to bring prospective investors from the two continents together to explore business opportunities and court partnerships.

Exhibitors

Exhibiting countries included Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa as well as some individuals entrepreneurs.
Some of the products exhibited were textiles, arts and crafts and agribusiness.


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Ms Vivian Asempapa,a Minister at the Ghana High Commission in Australia interacting, Mr Paul Papalia

Ms. Vivian Asempapa,a Minister at the Ghana High Commission in Australia interacting, Mr. Paul Papalia 

There was also a fashion show and musical and cultural performances as part of the programme.

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The Soukouss International band treated patrons to good African music.

Mr Papalia said it was an exciting period for Western Australia and Australia in general as it opens up the country for trade and investment both inside and outside its borders.

Rising above discrimination

He said Western Australia in particular was ready to rise above all levels of discrimination which has slowed the pace of collaborations with people of diverse backgrounds.

He said his ministry had allocated about 425 million Australia dollars to promote businesses, hence calling on African businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to forge linkages with Australia for investment.

Maximize Potential

Dr Casta Tungaraza, Advisor on African Affairs said it was important the world is beginning to realise Africa's place in trade, adding that Africa cannot be ignored in the world’s trade.

She noted that a continent as rich as Africa should not depend on aid but maximize its trade potentials for the growth of the continent and its people.

The General Manager, Multicultural Community Banking of the Commonwealth Bank of Western Australia, Mr Huss Mustafa said contribution of Africa to Australia's economy was commendable and needs to be boosted, pointing out that the bank was ready to support the partnerships for the growth of business investments.