OVER 600 indigenous and international exhibitors are expected to participate in the 22nd Ghana International Trade Fair scheduled to open on February 28 and close on March 7 this year.
The event, which is being organised by the Ghana Trade Fair Company, will offer an opportunity for exhibitors to introduce their brands and products to emerging and existing companies currently enrolled in the 216-district industrialisation programme and many others.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Dr Agnes Adu, who disclosed this in an interview with Daily Graphic on Thursday, January 18, in Accra, explained that the event would also highlight the government’s district industrialisation initiative ‘One District, One Factory.’
“The Ghana Trade Fair Company has partnered with several institutions such as the ‘One District, One Factory’ Secretariat and other like institutions to make the fair more vibrant and bigger than previous years,” she said.
She mentioned that several activities had been tabled for the event which would be the last to be held at the facility following the new management’s plans to rebuild the centre into an international standard.
Although the event has not attracted most people in recent times, Dr Adu said the new management was committed to using this year’s event to promote the government’s district industrialisation programme and also move the facility to the next level.
Rebuilding of trade fair centre
The next level, she said, would entail rebuilding the facility into an international standard for the company to regain its past glory.
She added that the rebuilding of the facility was to help make the centre a trade hub in the West African sub-region and the preferred trading destination for the country’s global partners.
“So the facility, as it exists currently, cannot hold the type of international fairs that we are mandated to do because the rooms are small, and most parts of the facility have broken down, hence the need for a facelift,” he said.
“I would like to use the centre to industrialise, foster partnership and help create jobs for the teeming youth in the country,” she said.
Changing the fortune of the centre
Dr Adu, who took office in the second half of last year, said in the interim the company was embarking on aggressive measures to improve the fortunes of the company.
“We met employee salary arrears of about 18 months when we took office last year, but we are gradually putting measures in place to change that entirely,” she said.
She stated that within the first 90 days of assuming office, electricity had been fully restored to the facility after it settled 10 per cent of the GH¢600,000 the company owed the Electricity Company Ghana.
She added that it had also introduced an aggressive revenue collection plan to retrieve arrears of over GH¢1.5 million owed it by its tenants.
“Ninety days into my administration, I have retrieved about GH¢700,000 out of the GH¢1.5 million the tenants owe the company,” she said.