Germany’s Ambiente Trade Fair opens world market for Ghana’s handicraft industry

For the first time in West Africa, the world’s biggest consumer-goods trade fair, Ambiente 2012 has been launched in Accra, Ghana November 21, 2011.

The launch, according to the organisers – Messe Frankfurt, is to give more insight to Ghanaian handicraft exporters on how to promote their businesses at the world stage and also “get in touch with foreign companies who will be interested in their products.”

The 2012 Ambiente is slated for February 10 – 14, 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany.

According to Messe Frankfurt, around 4,500 international exhibitors will present their latest products, concepts and trends and turn Frankfurt into a magnet for buyers and trade visitors from all over the world.

It also marks the beginning of the business year for the table, kitchen, household, home, furnishing and giving sectors.
Speaking exclusively to after the launch, Mrs. Yvonne Englemann, Director at Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, said the benefit of the fair for Ghanaians is that “they will meet the buyers, worldwide retailers, wholesalers so they can offer the products to them.”

“Ghana’s handicraft sector needs to show their beautiful products to the world market and also find a new market,” Mrs. Englemann said.

She noted that even though they have only two Ghanaian companies, she was optimistic that, years to come will see more companies exhibiting their products at the fair.

In 2010, Messe Frankfurt organised 87 fairs, over half of them outside Germany.

Patrick Marens - an official at the German Industry and Commerce in Ghana launching Ambiente 2012 in Accra.

Covering an area of 578,000 square metres, the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre currently has ten halls and a congress centre. The customers of Messe Frankfurt include 68,582 exhibitors and the approximately 2.4 million visitors who attend their events around the globe.

Delivering a speech, Mr. Stephan Antwi – President of the Ghanaian-German Economic Association, said the country needs to extend its “Friday Wear” concept to the promotion of crafts and artisans industry.

The launch attracted stakeholders in the Ghanaian handicraft industry.

Ghana recorded a $1.6 billion earning from non-traditional exports (NTEs) in 2010, representing an increase of 34.1 per cent in value over the $1.215 billion (GH¢1.723 billion) recorded the previous year, according to figures by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) September 28, 2011.

Mr. Kwadwo Owusu, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, who presented the highlights of the 2010 NTE statistics at the 72nd National Exporters’ Forum in Accra, said total earnings of the sector in 2010 were boosted by three main sub-sectors: Handicrafts, Agriculture and Processed and Semi-processed products.

By Ekow Quandzie

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