Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), says Ghana’s participation in the ongoing 84th Izmir International Fair was an opportunity to explore Turkish technology.
He said building on the lessons Ghana had learnt from participating in the Izmir International Fair over the past four years, there was the need for Ghanaian companies to explore the technology used by their Turkish counterparts to enhance production and get more value for the products.
Mr Quarcoo, speaking on Ghana’s expectations at the Fair, said the country was making efforts to move away from an economy that basically sold primary products to one based on exporting value added products.
“Turkish technology is informed by German technology which has equipment and systems for value addition thus some of the exhibitors are also here to look for technological opportunities to get more value for their products,” he said, adding that such value added products would command higher prices on the shelves.
“This year, we are also looking to build on the foundation we have laid over the past three years to expand our foothold in the Turkish market and woo some investors to Ghana to look at what opportunities we have in Ghana,” he said.
He said Ghana was also focused on sourcing for larger orders for Ghanaian products as well as for opportunities to expand the menu of Ghana’s offerings.
The 84th edition of the fair opened on Friday night, with about 12 Ghanaian companies from various sectors including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and service industries participating.
The theme for Ghana’s participation this year is; “Showcasing Made-in-Ghana Plant Medicine/Food Supplement and Natural Ingredients - Attracting Investments into their Research and Commercial Production.”
Mr Quarcoo said there was growing interest worldwide in herbal medicines since orthodox medicines are thought to lose their efficacy after a while when the human body gets used to them. Herbal medicines are also thought to be safer since they are made from natural plants, thus the interest in natural options such as Moringa.
According to figures from GEPA, Ghana's Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) to Turkey has increased significantly over the years, rising from US$ 4,638,184 in 2010 to US$27.349, 948 in 2013.
The Izmir Fair was introduced in 1923 as the first and only general trade exhibition in Turkey, while the international aspect of the fair (buyers’ fair) was introduced in 1935 and continues to be part of the fair.
Ghana first participated in the Izmir International Fair in 1997, 2002 and 2003 at the instance of the Turkish Government and thus was given free allocation of exhibition space.
After a long break, GEPA coordinated Ghana’s participation in the 81st edition of the fair in 2012, and subsequently the 82nd, 83rd and 84th to attract patronage for made in Ghana products and to undertake complementary investment attraction into the NTE sector.
Izmir is the third most important city in Turkey after Ankara, the capital and political hub and Istanbul- the commercial centre. The city is located in the Aegean Region, a very important export-oriented industrial hub in Turkey.
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