Ten out of the 28 exhibitors from Ghana at the 2018 Lagos International trade fair in Nigeria, under the auspices of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) are new entrants / first timers.
Five out of the 10, namely, Delchris African Limited, Kofi Vinyo, Amazing Foods, OXY Industries Ltd and Sparkxx Foods and Beverages Company Ltd are into food processing and two into shea-base cosmetics and black soap; MGL Naturals and KAEME.
The rest, Ernest Chemist, Biraago Home of Authentic and Decor and Obibini Blackman are into pharmaceutical, textile products and alcoholic herbal bitters respectively.
The new exhibitors shared their experiences and said that their products were making waves even though it was their first time.
Most said they were already in talks with individuals and companies who have expressed interest in being their agents and distributors in Nigeria.
“They appreciate our products because our products stand tall in terms of packaging and others and so sales keep rising,” Mr Derrick Yiiyi Abbot of Sparkxx Foods said.
Mrs Alice Opku Mensah of Biraago Home and Decor said, “we have been privilege to interact with some hotel suppliers who are ready to do business with us.”
A representative of Kofi Vinyo Company, Ms Janet Tweneboah, said their major concern was how to register with the Nigeria Food and Drugs Authority (NAFDA) to penetrate the market more.
Mr David Blankson Amoah, of OXY Industries, was happy to expand to Lagos Nigeria in line with the company's vision and said they will peruse vigorously in terms of building contacts.
He appealed to the GEPA to do more for exporters before and during such trade fairs in terms of media publicity and creating public awareness.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mrs Afua Asabea Asare, said as the authority encouraged more exporters to register with it and they respond they will be exposed to such platforms to expand.
She said stakeholder forums usually organised by GEPA have provided insights to most new exporters about exhibitions and fairs.
“A lot of people who come for the stakeholder forums get to know a lot of the things that we do that is why there are new companies here. Also the people who come to the export school get to know that they can benefit from fairs and exhibitions like this,” she said in an interview at the 2018 Lagos International trade fair in Nigeria.
She added that currently most exporters visit the offices of GEPA to register.