Mrs. Jane Reindorf-Attoh, Managing Director of the Accra World Trade Centre (WTC) Accra, has urged Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the impending Canton Fair – China’s largest international trade show.
The Canton Fair, a trade show slated for October 15th to November 4th, 2018, is held in the spring and autumn seasons each year since the spring of 1957 in Canton (Guangzhou), China. It is the oldest, largest and most representative trade fair in China for export trade, though import business. This year’s fair marks its 124th edition and is expected to attract hundreds of traders, manufactures and inventors to showcase their products.
Mrs. Jane Reindorf-Attoh diclosed this at a forum in Accra to officially promote the Fair to potential participants.
The forum was jointly organised by the Economic and Commercial Section of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, in collaboration with the World Trade Centre Accra and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and it brought together participants from across the country including industrialists, importers and exporters.
Mrs. Reindorf-Attoh describing the Canton Fair as the largest trade show in China and one of the largest in the world where hundreds of merchants source goods for their businesses, said the WTC Accra is a proactive trade development organisation that exists to strengthen Ghanaian local businesses with access to international markets and by building their capacity through a portfolio of services.
The WTC’s promotion of the Canton Fair, she said, is in line with its efforts to provide local businesses with access to import and export opportunities across the globe.
Mr. Chai Zhijing, the Head of the Economics and Commercial Section of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, said the Canton Fair – also referred to as the China Import and Export Fair – is the largest trade fair with the largest scale, the broadest distribution of overseas buyers and the greatest business turnover held in Guangzhou, China.
He said over 20,000 vendors and about 100,000 buyers are expected to attend the Fair which takes place twice a year, adding that the Chinese government is prepared to extend invitations for more Ghanaian businesses to participate in the fair and that the 250 expected businesses constitute the minimum of Ghanaian businesses expected at the Fair.
He revealed that about 250 indigenous Ghanaian businesses will have the opportunity to access and showcase their products and expertise in the Chinese market at the Canton Fair this year.
Also, various types of business activities such as economic and technical cooperation and exchange, commodity inspection, insurance, transportation, advertising, and trade consultation are commonly carried out at the Fair.
Mr. Kobena Ebo Quaison, the Director in charge of Export Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said it is time for Ghana to cross new frontiers in trade and investment as the ministry is ready to assist Ghanaian businesses partake in the Canton Fair, which will strategically position Ghana on the world’s business and investment map.
He said governments do not trade or do business and that it is the private sector that has to take a frontal role in trade and investment.
“Ghana stands to benefit in a strategic alliance with China. Government is undertaking all the needed interventions to create a vibrant environment for private businesses to thrive.”
Ghana, he said, can no longer depend on the traditional export of gold and cocoa – stressing that there is a need to exploit other avenues of revenue generation, especially trade and investment, and bemoaned the trade imbalance between Ghana and China while emphasising the need for Ghana to take advantage of opportunities provided by the Chinese market.
Dr. Joseph Obeng, the President of GUTA whose speech was read on his behalf, commended WTC for its effort in arranging invitations for indigenous Ghanaian businesses to partake in the fair.
He indicated that increasing Ghanaian volumes of export to countries like China will position the country to gain access to the buoyant Chines market. He urged Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase the potentials of Ghana to the rest of the world.