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29 March 2016

Ghana products and Cultural Expo for US launched

95The Bongo Traditional Fashion in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has launched the maiden edition of the 2016 Ghana Products and Cultural Expo, to be held in New York, in July.

The Expo, which would run from July 23 to 29, is expected to showcase quality made-in-Ghana products to the American public in the New York, area and also expose the residents to Ghana’s rich cultural heritage and music.

It also seeks to woo American buyers and investors to look to Ghana as both an attractive destination to source products and invest for profit.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Stephen Normeshie, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the Authority accepted to team up with the Bongo Traditional Fashion in organising the show in line with its mandate to develop and promote the export of made-in-Ghana products and services in key markets, such as the United States.

He said with Ghana’s historically close trade relations with the US, coupled with favourable preferential market access opportunities, such as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), GEPA was continuously working towards consolidating Ghana’s gains and position in the market.

Ghana’s non-traditional exports to the US market in 2013 stood at $94 million but fell in 2014 to $77 million in 2014, with cocoa paste, cocoa powder and garments as some of the products.

Mr Normeshie said the export trend showed that GEPA needed to do a lot more promotion and product diversification on the US market.

It is in this connection that GEPA organised 12 craft exporters to participate in the Artisan resource NY Now show, in New York in August, 2014.

He said the participation in the show provided the beneficiary companies the opportunity to assess their readiness to export craft products into the US market.

Mr Normeshie urged exporters to take advantage of the opportunity but cautioned them to be prepared to offer only the best quality products as the US market was a sophisticated and demanding one.

He said GEPA’s team had put in place rigorous selection criteria to ensure that only the best companies and products were admitted to the show and urged interested exhibitors to cooperate with the team.

In a welcome address, Alhaji Mohammed Awal, the Chief Executive Officer of Accra Restaurant, New York, said the show would enable the participants to get international recognition and called for support to make it a success.

Bongo Traditional Fashion is an organisation, which focuses on improving traditional fashion and weaving from the Savannah regions of Ghana.

GNA

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