Lt Colonel (Rtd) Enoch K.T. Donkor, Ghana’s Ambassador to la Cote d’Ivoire, said it was high time the countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) redoubled their efforts to boost trade among themselves to enhance economic and social development.
Lt Col Donkor was speaking during the opening session of a ten-day solo exhibition of Made in Ghana Products being held at the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ghana Embassy in la Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The exhibition, the first to be held in Abidjan, seeks among other objectives, to promote an increased and sustained export of Ghanaian products and services to La Cote d’Ivoire and encourage joint ventures between Ghanaian businesses and the Ivorian Counterparts.
It is also to deepen bilateral trade relations between the two countries and to strengthen Ghana’s trade balance vis-à-vis La Cote d’Ivoire.
Lt Col Donkor said the re-emergence of La Cote d’Ivoire from its political crisis, new opportunities have emerged for business operators from Ghana to tap into.
He urged the business operators to explore partnerships with their Ivorian counterparts, adding that the Ghanaian Embassy was ready to facilitate contacts with the Ivorian business community.
Lt Col Donkor was happy about the large women participation, saying it was critical and that sustained exposure would help sharpen women entrepreneurial capabilities.
In a speech read for him, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Mr Stephen Normeshie, said the ECOWAS market, with key players such as Nigeria and La Cote d’Ivoire, held a big potential for Ghanaian products and improvement in sub-regional intra-trade for rapid socio-economic development.
Mr Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, Director of Export Trade at the Ministry of Trade, said government was pursuing aggressive export-led policy with the focus on trade with countries in the sub-region.
He said the exhibition was part of steps being taken by Ghana to ensure that intra-African trade took root to enhance regional market integration.