The third edition of the Western Xmas trade fair and expo has opened in Takoradi with a call on businesses and individual entrepreneurs to take advantage of the many opportunities provided by the Government to grow and expand their businesses.
The eight-day trade fair and expo being held on the theme: “Promoting made in Ghana goods for enhanced export competitiveness,” has since 2019 been part of the annual city activities of the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC).
Products on display at the fair included; African prints, footwears, locally made soaps and pomades, perfumes, necklaces among many other made in Ghana products.
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Region Minister who made the call noted that the trade fair and expo offered SMEs the opportunity to promote and sell their products and as well meet potential investors to grow their businesses in the region.
According to him, no business activity should be ignored in the process to revamp the economy from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said entrepreneurship and businesses play a significant role in shaping the landscape of a country’s economy and therefore stressed the need to promote SMEs in the wake of the global economic down turn as a result of the COVID-129 pandemic.
The Regional Minister said the government was committed to promoting and supporting local businesses for the achievement of Ghana beyond aid agenda.
He said Government had put in place attractive initiatives through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to offer support to both private and public businesses as well as entrepreneurs.
The objective, he said was to provide an integrated national support for startups and small businesses and to build an industrial economy capable of providing decent jobs that were suitable and sustainable for development.
The Western Region, he said had all the necessary resources for creating the needed wealth and prosperity for its people.
He, therefore, admonished all to be business minded, enterprising, and focus on production, productivity, and wealth creation.
To provide investors with a one stop shop and support to be able to crystalize their projects in the region, he said the Western Regional Investment Centre has been established
Mr. Darko-Mensah urged the youth to look critically and asses the gaps that existed in the business landscape of the country, and seek for funding to create sustainable businesses to fill those gaps.
“Do not just do any business, look for the needs in our community and find a product and service that fit those needs, that is the only way your businesses can be sustainable”, he advised.
He pledged the support and readiness of the WRCC to support any viable youth ready to take the initiative saying, the WRCC aims to support the private sector to develop the various sectors of the region.
Mr Isaac Yankson, Western Regional Trade and Industry Officer described the expo as an important occasion that would bring to the limelight Ghanaian products that needed to be supported to take advantage of the wide export market.
He explained that the fair was also an indication of how goods produced in the region were being handled to ensure that they had a wider export market especially in the regime of the Africa Free Trade Agreement.
The expo, he noted would open up market opportunities for SMEs and urged them to learn, strategise and look forward to better their production opportunities by being very competitive.
Mr Yankson encouraged participants of the trade fair and expo to take advantage of the Government’s initiatives to enroll unto the one District, one factory initiative to be able to expand their businesses to export large quantities of their products to the international market.