Business News of 2014-03-21

Int. Arts and Handicrafts trade show launched

Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said Ghana would soon be well positioned to participate meaningfully in the global arena of handicrafts.

He said the Ministry had commissioned a technical committee to design and implement an integrated work plan that would resuscitate all craft villages and markets. Nii Lantey was speaking at the launch of the International Arts and Handicrafts Trade Show of Ouagadougou dubbed: SIAO 2014 in Accra on Thursday.

The show in its 14th edition is on the theme: African Handicraft, Women Entrepreneurship and Social Protection is expected to commence from October 31 November 9.

He said SIAO had proved so successful that it now attracts collectors and participants from around the continent, which has brought a boost to the arts and craft industry in Burkina Faso.

He said the show provided artisans from Ghana the opportunity to trade in handicrafts, urging participants to take the maximum advantage of it. He said these had also contributed quite significantly to the national economy as well as the individual livelihood of the industry players.

Nii Lantey said due to lack of sustained investments in the relevant infrastructure for the industry both growth and revenue from the industry had dwindled considerably in the past five years.

Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), said the show was one of the outstanding handicraft fairs in Africa which brings together producer artisans and exporters to create the forum to promotion of African Handicraft.

He said it would also enable stakeholders to converge to exchange their experience for the development of the industry. SIAO is one of the specialised and professional fairs, GEPA will always want to participate in, he said.

He said the event also seeks to contribute to the increasing and diversifying the supply of handicraft products and strengthen the position of the fair on the global scene. Mr Quarcoo said volumes of trade between the two countries have improved significantly over the years.

From 2008 to 2012, trade between Ghana and Burkina Faso increased by over 107 per cent from US$ 98.1 million in 2008 to US$ 203.4 million in 2012, he added. Mr El Hadj Abdoulaye ZONGO, General Manager of SIAO, said the choice of Ghana as the host country did not occur by chance, it was because of its strong participation in the previous editions.

He explained that the strong participation of Ghanaian Craftsmen in the last edition of SIAO in 2012 with the special support by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority showed the friendly relations that existed between the two countries.

Source: GNA
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