The Ministry of Trade and Industries on Wednesday launched a website (ghanatrade.gov.gh) aimed at enhancing the businesses of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Ghana.
The National Web-Based Product Gallery which was developed with assistance from the World Bank would seek to provide detailed and reliable products and company information of participating firms across the country.
Speaking at the launch Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Trade and Industries, said the development of the website was in line with the government’s efforts to transform enterprises, create job opportunities, and strengthen Ghana’s trade and industrial position in the world.
He said Information and Communication Technology had contributed to the transformation of the global economy and Ghana had to work for its share.
“Today, we are living in a digital world where the use of the internet has become a key contribution to economic growth, and it has indeed transformed the way we interact with one another and share knowledge on daily basis”, he said.
He said e-commerce was spreading at a fast rate at an estimated value of $6.8 trillion per annum, which was 15 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu expressed appreciation to Madam Hanna Tetteh, former Minister of Trade and Industries, for the laudable initiative which was started when she was the sector Minister.
Mr Seth Adjei -Baah, President, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industries, noted that the initiative would help improve on the quality and packaging of goods made in the country as entrepreneurs would be compelled to come out with quality and well packaged goods.
“Consumers would also know the prices of goods and services before making orders as well as improve the rate of networking among manufacturers in the country”, he explained.
He said the launch of the website would also give products and services of participating businesses a wider coverage and an edge over their competitors.
Mr Adjei –Baah appealed to the Ministry of Trade to ensure that the cost of doing businesses in the country was affordable to attract more foreign and local investors.
“We would also be glad if government would ensure that interests on loans were minimal to encourage those involved in MSMEs to expand their businesses”, he added.
Mr Kofi Boateng-Agyen, Task Team Leader, World Bank, expressed the Bank‘s readiness to assist any country ready to boost the manufacturing and trading prowess of its entrepreneurs.
He said the World Bank as part of its commitment towards boosting trade on the African continent has selected Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Senegal, Mali, Cape Verde to be given the needed assistance in that aspect.
He said a lot of people nowadays had access to the internet hence making online trading one of the best means of doing business.
The website which was developed by Con-iMedia, an Information Technology consulting firm, was estimated at $37,000.00.
It is an interactive website that featured coloured advertising pages for MSMEs, and divided into 15 categories that span through banking, food, beverages to ceramics.
The picture gallery of products also come with details of the manufacturers including phone numbers, other websites and contact addresses.
There also sections for news, trade forums and frequently asked questions and answers.
So far the site has been populated with 300 products and services by 71 companies across the country.