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Formalise business operations to enhance access to international market - Entrepreneurs urged

Ghana Enterprises Agency GEA11212 The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA)

Sun, 31 Jul 2022 Source: GNA

A two-day business forum, as part of the Central Region’s trade, tourism and investment fair in Cape Coast, has ended with a call to young entrepreneurs to formalise their businesses to enhance access to the international market.

Mr Alhassan Baba Yunus, acting Central Regional Manager of Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), said it was critical for businesses to seek the endorsement of credible institutions like the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to elicit confidence in their products.

“If you ever think of exporting your products, you cannot avoid the FDA and the GSA. Having your products registered by these recognised entities is a demonstration of their quality and safety and once the market is assured of these characteristics, it elevates your value both locally and internationally,” he noted.

The forum was designed to whip up entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth and to sensitise them about the many opportunities around them.

It also deliberated on challenges young businesses faced and attempted to find lasting solutions to them.

It was held under the auspices of the Central Regional Coordinating Council and the Central Regional Development Commission, the organisers of the Fair.

Mr Yunus said businesses needed to place a premium on the packaging of their products, indicating that “packaging is what attracts customers foremost.”

Touching on the challenge of the high cost of production in the country, he advised businesses to adopt available appropriate and efficient technologies to cut down costs.

He exposed the participants to the role of GEA in creating an enabling business environment and urged them to patronise the agency to guarantee and accelerate the success of their businesses.

Dr Charles Hackman Essel, a lecturer and researcher with the School of Business, University of Cape Coast, said the time had come for the youth to be creative and continuously improve their crafts to appeal to the local and international markets.

He observed that even though the Ghanaian youth were capable, they were averse to risk and, therefore, remained in their comfort zone, achieving little or no progress in their ventures.

“We need to have some sort of production innovation; we are too comfortable with where we are. We must be intentional about our dreams and aspirations because the opportunities are just around us,” he said.

“Let us focus on the pain points of people lamenting here and there; that is how we will get our business ideas,” he pointed out.

In his view, there was nothing like the right moment to start a business and, therefore, urged young people to begin pursuing their dreams immediately.

To grow and sustain their businesses, Dr Essel enjoined entrepreneurs to shun offensive attitudes toward customers as bad customer relationship was inimical to business.

Odeefo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, the President of the Central Regional House of Chief, who chaired the forum, observed that the region was missing a lot of opportunities due to the poor road network that had rendered it inaccessible.

He, therefore, called on the government and all relevant stakeholders to help fix and improve the road network in the region to speed its development.

For the youth and young entrepreneurs, he admonished them to show respect, demonstrate honesty, eschew corruption, and demonstrate good customer service to succeed in business.

Contributing to the discussions, some of the participants lamented the harsh and discriminatory tax regime which promoted established foreign businesses but stifled the budding local businesses.

They, therefore, called for a relook at the current tax regime to enable start-ups to grow and contribute to national development.

The Central Expo 2022 is on the theme: “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Central Region - Challenges, Prospects and Solutions” and seeks to stimulate economic activities and drive investment into the region.

The weeklong fair hosted more than 200 Small and Medium Enterprises at the Adisadel College Park on Cape Coast.

Source: GNA