Mr Fredrick Alipul, Chairman of the Accra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has encouraged Ghanaian businesses to strategize and take advantage of opportunities available to promote domestic trade.
He said the promotion of domestic trade could lead to intra-Africa trade, which would boost businesses as well as sustain the economy.
Mr Alipul was speaking at the 2nd Edition of “Business-Business” (B2B) networking meeting, organized by the Accra Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Western/Central Regional Chambers at Takoradi.
The meeting was on the theme, “Promoting Ghana’s Domestic Trade and Industry for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Market”.
Business-Business networking is to among others provide opportunities for idea sharing, establish relationship towards partnership and joint ventures, networking among representatives of participating member firms, discuss business deals as well as to engage in domestic mutual trade.
Mr Alipul pointed out that most of the products that were consumed in the country were imported noting, that Ghanaian markets were being flooded with foreign products.
“We really need to strategize, there are a lot of potentials in the country, let us position ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges ahead,” he added.
Nana Dr. Appaigyei Dankawoso I, President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a speech read for him, pointed out that research has indicated the need for countries to participate in trade activities where they had absolute advantage.
He said promoting domestic industry and investment has been championed as an alternative source of growth for developing countries following the global economic crisis of 2008 where worldwide trade and demand rapidly decelerated.
“It thus points to the fact that developing nations should concentrate on growing domestic demand as well as promoting sustainable export-based economy,” he said.
He said Ghana had signed several trade agreements such as ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme, Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), noting that these agreements were geared towards promoting trade activities and meeting standard products requirements.
“It is therefore imperative for us to build our capacities and leverage on these trade initiatives towards establishing and increasing market shares both locally and internationally,” he added.
Nana Dankawoso said the idea of encouraging domestic trade among chamber members should be given the relevant economic, financial and trade related support.
“It is in this regard that the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce is engaged in strengthening the capacities of the Ghanaian private sector to be in a better position to produce and trade”.
Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, Deputy Western Regional Minister, said for the country to develop, it was important for the private sector to be adequately resourced.
She lauded the Chamber for the business to business meeting and expressed the hope that this would go a long way to support trade within the country and beyond.
Mr. Stephan Miezan, Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Sekondi-Takoradi branch, said the Chamber, was ever ready to promote domestic trade and investment in the country.
He said there was the need for the government to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and move the economy forward.
“As players in the industry, we need to network and be able to compete favourably and effectively on the ECOWAS and international markets”.