Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has launched the 2016 Diplomatic Fair with a reminder to African countries on the need to partner diplomatic missions to develop their economies.
He said such missions could also be partnered to help Africans trade among themselves instead of mainly exporting to America and European countries.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, Mr Spio-Garbrah said the idea of the Diplomatic Fair should also allow Ghanaian businesses to enquire from embassies that would participate about how they could assist the local businesses to operate in their countries.
The fair, formerly known as Embassy Fair, was instituted in 2012 by Precise Communications Limited, a service marketing and communications company based in Ghana.
The fair, billed for June 16 to 18, would offer opportunity for diplomatic organisations to educate and promote their services to Ghanaians, while showcasing their achievements.
It is expected to be attended by diplomats, corporate executives and entrepreneurs, public service professionals, government officials, members of various trade associations, tertiary students and the public.
It also provides a platform for the public to gain deeper understanding on the role of diplomatic organisations in the country and their contributions towards the socio-economic well-being of the people.
Dr Spio-Garbrah described the fair as very relevant for investments and trade relations and urged local businesses to participate fully and learn from the missions how they could export their product like shea butter, oil palm or fish to those countries.
He said: “It shouldn’t only be about visas and how to travel to countries to make enquires there. They can make the enquiries at the fair to know which companies they could contact and do business with”.
The Trade Minister, therefore, expressed the hope that the fair would demonstrate the support the missions could offer to deepen diplomacy between Ghana and other countries while promoting business among the countries.
He urged Ghanaian businessmen and women and other industrialists to patronise the fair to enable them to understand issues of diplomacy, culture, law enforcement and security issues.
Mr Stephen Gyasi-Kwaw, the Chief Executive Officer of Precise Communications Limited, explained that the Diplomatic Fair was being organised in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Trade and Industry Ministry as well as the Office of the Dean of Diplomatic Corps.
He said the fair would create a platform for the diplomatic community in Ghana to showcase their works, while disseminating information on the various services and programmes being run by the missions.
He said there would be exhibitions that would provide opportunity for visitors to access information on various services and programmes run by the diplomatic organisation.
Mr Gyasi-Kwaw said a forum on economic diplomacy would also be organised for diplomats, private sector titans, development agencies, civil society and leaders of the public sector to dialogue and share ideas on best practice to advance economic growth.
There would also be a diplomatic business networking reception, an event that would connect local private sector executives and entrepreneurs with diplomats.
“This is a great opportunity for the private sector to introduce their business to the diplomatic community in Ghana,” Mr Gyasi-Kwaw said.