The second edition of the Western Business and Investment Fair (WEBIF) has kicked-off in the Oil City, Sekondi-Takoradi, on the theme: ��Promoting Trade and Investments through Effective Business Networking.��
Over 35 exhibitors made up of businesses in trade, insurance, manufacturing, finance, agriculture, food and beverages, as well as educational institutions are participating.
The four-day event seeks to draw trade and investment into the region and promote effective networking between businesses, as well as individuals within and outside the region.
Mrs. Edith Dankwa, the Chief Executive Officer of the Business and Financial Times (B&FT), noted that WEBIF has become a significant event not just on the calendar of the company, but also of the Western Region.
According to her, the region is a place of extraordinary opportunity � it is the backbone of Ghana�s cocoa history, has mineral resources, oil among others.
�As a media organisation, we see opportunities for this region that investors and entrepreneurs may tap into,� she said.
�As business people, I encourage you to talk to each other about partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities. As individual firms, we may not have the necessary capital to exploit these opportunities, but we can come together to achieve more using our collective talents, capital and resources,� she added.
She pointed out that if individuals and companies come together, they can use the next few years to unleash the tremendous economic potential of the region and help the people, especially the indigenes, to achieve their dreams of sustainable employment and poverty alleviation.
�The B&FT stands ready to be a facilitator and advocate of this vision using our media and channels, including this fair, where we bring people in government to interact with the private sector and share mutual concerns,� she said.
With increasing petroleum activities in the region, she noted that the demand for products and services will increase, a reason businesses need to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that abound.
In a speech read for the Minister of Trade and Industry, he noted that business and investment can create jobs which would ultimately bring about wealth creation and alleviate poverty in the country. He said it is against this backdrop that government is poised to developing congenial and efficiently functioning structures that will aim to attract foreign investors and stimulate domestic entrepreneurship.
�I therefore entreat prospective investors to bank on the government�s enthusiasm and harness the resources in the region to propel the socio-economic development of the country,� he said.
Government, he said, is not relenting on its commitment to improve the macroeconomic climate and ensure that the private sector is not crowded-out by government in access to capital.
�We will continue to implement policies aimed at maintaining sound fiscal discipline that will reduce inflation and interest rates.�
He explained that the practice of modern business has changed dramatically, and one has to be connected and innovative to adapt to the constantly evolving circumstances.
�This is why I consider today�s forum key to unlocking this potential and developing inter-business linkages for long-lasting engagements.�
Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, said most small and medium enterprises are ready to develop when given the necessary support to expand and contribute their quota to the development of the country and create jobs for people.
He said local small-scale enterprises are not against foreign competition but simply want support to be able to compete with foreign firms.
�We can only create jobs when our companies are given opportunities,� he added.
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