The Ghana Cocoa Board spearheaded the participation of 12 companies from Ghana at the first China International Import Exposition in Shanghai by mounting a stand at the business section of the exposition where cocoa and processed cocoa products were displayed.
The COCOBOD stand hosted the COCOBOD, CPC, PBC Shea and Niche Cocoa Company whilst together with the other participating companies products were on display at the Ghana Country Pavillion.
The companies were Ghana Cocoa Board, CPC, PBC Shea, Niche Cocoa Products, Afrikocof Handicrafts, Debbie's Products Ltd, A.D.Agrispro Company Ltd, Solutions Oasis Ltd, Efanj Checas Ventures, Venet Naturals, Odeki Ghana Ltd, Domain Ventures and Yaabs Creations.
Exhibits at the business section were for display and sale whilst exhibits at the country pavillion were exclusively for display and not to be sold in line with Chinese regulations.
About a hundred different kinds of items were displayed at the country stand. These included natural seed products, processed cocoa and shea butter products, alcoholic beverages, processed coconut oil products, ginger products, moringa products, tigernut products, cashew products, plantain chips, beaded items, shito and tom brown.
The alcoholic beverages which attracted large patronage daily throughout the expo included Takai, Mandingo, Alomo and Brukutu.
Large queues of Chinese visitors formed daily at the Ghana Country Pavillion and the Cocobod stand to sample the products and many pleaded to be sold most of the items at the country pavillion, especially the cocoa and shea butter creams and soaps. Others were directed to the Cocobod stand to buy processed cocoa products especially chocolate and the variouscocoa powder products.
On the last day after the closing ceremony, many of the Chinese trooped to the Ghana Country Pavillion and some of the exhibitors made good sales.
Following the huge demand for some of the products, a few of the exhibitors stayed behind to close deals whilst others decided to travel to Dubai to participate in a trade show that will be held there at the weekend.
One of the exhibitors commended the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah for his personal commitment to the exposition but asked that next time arrangements should be made for participants to stay at one place and be conveyed to and from the exhibition grounds.
Whilst it was not difficult to get taxi to the exhibition grounds there was always the problem as to where to drop off since only exhibition branded buses were allowed to stop at the entrances to the exhibition grounds. All other vehicles were restricted to stop or park about 1.5 km from the exhibition grounds. More seriously after closure daily, it was difficult to get taxis back since most of the drivers refused to pick foreigners because of language barrier.
Three officers of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Assistant Commissioner Seidu Yakubu, Senior Revenue Officer Augustine Adubofuor and Revenue Officer Edward Adjenim- Boateng were present throughout the exposition to explain and answer questions on customs procedures and taxes about imports to and export from Ghana.