Graphic Business News

Focus on making contacts at fairs • GEPA tells exporters

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
A patron interacting with an exhibitor at the fair.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has committed to changing the mindset of many Ghanaian exporters and businesses in the non-traditional exports sector (NTE) who attend trade fairs just to make sales.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Mrs Afua Asabea Asare, said the idea of selling at trade fairs would not help  businesses to grow hence the need to change that perception.

“GEPA  helps to bring you to trade fairs and it behoves you to work hard to establish contacts that will last long,” she said in an interview during the just-ended 2018 Lagos International trade fair in Nigeria.

Mrs Asare was optimistic that all these would be corrected using the Ghana Export School.

Ms Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA and some officials at the Lagos trade fair

On how Ghana has been able to leverage the prospects at the fair, the Director of Research and International Cooperation at GEPA, Mr Maxwell Osei-kusi, said some deals had been successful while some were yet to come on stream.

“May be the fundamentals were not right but a few have been concretised and there are documents binding them,” he stated.
He advised the exporting community to be always conscious to produce products that would be accepted in the market.

“Any information on the market is available and GEPA is ready to give them. In terms of certification, we work with the Ghana missions to assist,” he explained.

Ghana day
He said “Ghana Day” is usually organised during such trade fairs to give the exporters the chance to interact with other business persons to develop relationships and partnerships.

It also helps the GEPA to provide information about trade and business opportunities in Ghana and to also learn about such opportunities in designated countries.

An exporter, Ms Amamatu  Otoo of Matu-Otoson Ventures said the Ghana Day helped greatly to give them the exposure.

Ms Genevieve  Baidoo of Dazzle Collections (producers of African wear with made-in-Ghana textiles) said through the Ghana Day she had been engaging in partnership talks with two business people.

Lagos fair

Twenty-eight selected exporters from Ghana showcased a range of made-in-Ghana products at the fair. These included alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food products, palm oil, handicrafts, textiles, African wear, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and herbal products, and aluminium products.

Some companies saw it as an opportunity to introduce their new products to the market there.

“The fair has been a good platform for us because we are introducing our brand new bleach, ‘Powerzone’ onto the Nigerian market,” Mr George  Amissah of Cevag  Company said.

The Export Director of GIHOC Distilleries Company Ltd, Mr Stephen Normeshie, said the fair gave the company’s products a lot of exposure.

“So far so good. People are making enquiries. We are also trying to register with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control here in Nigeria; we are talking to prospective agents,” he stated.

He said they were also entering the Nigerian market with new bottles but same products.

NTE sector
GEPA focuses primarily on the diversification of Ghana's export base from the traditional export products of unprocessed  minerals, cocoa beans, timber  logs and lumber.

Over 400 different  NTE products and services are currently categorised into the four broad areas of agricultural,  processed/semi-processed products and industrial  art and craft.

The clientele of the GEPA include over 4000 registered private sector exporting companies organised into various export product associations. — GB