Golden Jubilee Trade and Exhibition
Accra, Feb. 21, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on
Wednesday, opened the 11th Ghana International Golden
Jubilee Trade and Exhibition Fair urging local businesses
especially small and medium scale enterprises to explore
joint ventures possibilities to forge strategic
He said the opportunity offered would enable them to expand
their businesses and enhance their access to market to
benefit fully from the process of globalisation.
The President's speech was read on his behalf by Mr Alan
Kyerematen, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's
Special Initiatives, at a ceremony, which saw the beautiful
display of Ghana's colours, Red, Gold and Green.
Over one million local and foreign participants are expected
at this year's fair under the theme, "Championing African
President Kufuor noted that this year's international trade
and exhibition fair, had come at a time Ghana's economy was
poised for accelerated growth and said it should therefore
serve as an instrument to stimulate investment
He stated that it must spur growth by providing a common
platform for manufacturers, traders, exporters, importers
and all categories of service providers to showcase what
they have to offer to the world.
President Kufuor said the Ghana's Golden Jubilee
Independence anniversary provided an opportunity to take
stock of the nation's past experiences and to reflect on the
challenges that had confronted the country in business
development and the growth of the private sector.
"We can say without doubt, that trade fairs and exhibitions
have contributed significantly to increasing Ghana's
domestic trade as well as our share of the global market.
"This is one of the main reason why the Government is
exploring all avenues to develop the trade fair centre to
bring it to international standards as a centre of
excellence for commercial transactions and to showcase with
pride what Ghanaian industry can provide," he said.
President Kufuor said, the government had succeeded in
laying a solid foundation for development, by implementing
policies and programmes that have significantly transformed
the economic landscape of Ghana over the past six years.
Giving a background to Trade Fairs in Ghana, Ms Esther Ofori,
Chief Executive of the Ghana Trade Fair Company, said Dr
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President, established the
Centre 40 years as part of an industrialization programme to
expand international trade especially inter-African trade.
She said his dream of holding the 1st Ghana International
Trade Fair in February to March 1966, a few months after
hosting the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Conference
in 1965, was curtailed following the overthrow of his
Ms Ofori said Lieutenant General J A Ankrah, who became the
Head of State after the 1966 Coup, therefore officially
opened the 1st International Trade Fair on February 1, 1967.
A total of 17 foreign countries, seven African as well as
over 40 infant Ghanaian industries participated in the 1967
Today, in 2007, 11 foreign nations have registered to
participate with nine African countries having over 126
established industries as well as several small and medium
scale enterprises taking part, she said.
Ms Ofori said despite the "twist and turn" that the Centre
went through, it had found its bearing once again and
resumed the international fairs to create a promotional
platform to showcase corporate Ghana, her goods and
Mr Eddie Mbeah-Amoako, Board Chairman of the Ghana Trade
Fair Company, stressed the need for a redevelopment plan to
modify the focus of the Centre to turn it into a vibrant
"Expo City" to serve as a hub for the hosting of multiple
specialized fairs and other commercial events.
He said the Directors were envisaging a facility with a
conference centre, exhibition halls, hotel complex, food
courts, shopping malls, banks and recreational facilities.
Mr Mbeah-Amoako said with the support of the Ministry of
Trade, Industry Private Sector and PSI Ministry, discussions
were going on with offshore investors.