Business News of 2014-05-19

GEPA assesses impact of 2013 trade fairs

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has started assessing the impact of trade fairs and exhibitions organised for export-oriented companies in the country in 2013 on the operations of the beneficiary businesses.
The fairs were funded by the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and the assessment will afford the authority the opportunity to evaluate their contributions of the national economy and the non-traditional export (NTEs) portfolio of export earnings in particular.
Consequently, the management of the GEPA, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gideon Quarcoo, last week held a stakeholders forum with some of the beneficiary companies in Accra during which assessment forms were issued to them to complete and return for analysis.
Mr Quarcoo said the initiative sought to get the inputs of the exporters on the various fairs so as to improve upon future ones.
"The whole idea is to see how we are doing; what have been the tops and downs, whether or not expectations were met and if we are really getting value for money from such events. Remember its costly to organise fairs and it will only be proper that you find out how they are impacting the companies and the economy too," he said.
The authority last year organised eight different trade fairs for selected companies within the non-traditional export market for such businesses to showcase their wares to the international community.
The fairs were held in Europe, Asia and West Africa.
Although GEPA is yet to organise a fair this year, its CEO said it was looking at reducing the numbers as far as trade fairs were concerned to enable it to save some resources and use it to support the individual companies instead.
"Depending on the number of participants and the nature of the fair, each event could cost between US$20,000 and US$55,000, and that's a lot of money for us to raise. The idea now is to see how we can limit the number to, say, seven for this year, and use the money to rather support the companies to expand and export more," he said.
The CEO was, however, not enthused with most companies for taking the fairs as events to sell their wares rather than use them to start business-to-business discussions that could result in partnerships.
He gave an assurance of his outfit's resolve to continue to support exporters to expand their businesses to enable them to export more and rake in more foreign exchange for the country.
The GEPA is the non-traditional export promotion arm of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI). It currently has oversight of companies within the area.