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Nelson Mandela Businesses hold talks with Ghana delegation

Jun 28, 2019
Nelson Mandela Businesses hold talks with Ghana delegation

Port Elizabeth - Forty companies from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Friday held business to business discussions in Port Elizabeth with a Ghana trade and investment delegation which is on its first official visit to the Eastern Cape.

The Ghanaian 19-member business delegation kicked off their Eastern Cape tour to the metros with discussions with 35 businesses from the Buffalo City metro in East London yesterday.

The trade and investment mission aims to strengthen trade and investment relations with the Eastern Cape. The delegation is exploring trade and investment opportunities as well as areas of economic co-operation between Ghana and the Eastern Cape.

The delegation, which is led by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the South African High Commission in Ghana and the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber is being hosted by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC).

The Nelson Mandela Bay businesses operate in the manufacturing, energy and financial services sector and they will engage companies from Ghana for possible partnership opportunities.

“The South Africa High Commission, GIPC and the Ghana-South Africa Business Chamber have not held a trade mission to the Eastern Cape before and a need was recognised for an inward mission to the Eastern Cape. The ECDC has taken local SMMEs to trade missions to Ghana in the previous financial years, which have resulted in the establishment of a working relationship between businesses in Ghana and the Eastern Cape. 

“It is anticipated that each Ghanaian company will have meetings with a minimum of four companies from the Eastern Cape. The match-making exercise for business meetings is based upon the requests for meetings submitted by the Ghanaian companies,” says ECDC Head of Trade and Investment Thabo Shenxane.

GIPC director for investor services Edward Lartey says their delegation includes private sector companies from Ghana that operate in the trade, oil and gas and legal consulting sectors in order to foster relations with their Eastern Cape counterparts. The Eastern Cape has a unique potential which we hope we can collectively harness to benefit the province and business in Ghana.

“Ghana has a strong focus on agriculture and agribusiness, manufacturing, infrastructure, tourism and tourism. These are the sectors we are looking to exploit for significant trade and investment with South African companies in general. Ghana is regarded by the World Bank as the best place to do business in West Africa and South Africa is a top source of foreign direct investment for Ghana. We strongly believe that this co-operation should result in an improvement of trade and investment activity between African countries,” says Lartey.

Port Elizabeth bath resurfacing material manufacturer, Mend-A-Bath International which is already exporting its products to 20 countries throughout the globe says the Ghana trade and investment inward mission is an ideal opportunity for his company to expand into the West Africa market using a rapidly expanding Ghanaian economy as a gateway for its products into the region.

“We don’t currently export to Ghana and these engagements today will help us identify people and companies we can partner with for our products and services in Ghana. We are looking to expand our footprint beyond the 20 countries we currently export to and that is why we are participating in these discussions with the Ghanaian delegation. We welcome all opportunities to engage with Ghana,” says Mend-A-Bath International director Ian Moore.

Shenxane says the hosting of inward trade missions forms part of the greater Eastern Cape Export Promotion Strategy. The ECDC has recognised that hosting business missions into the province is crucial in promoting intra-trade between Eastern Cape business and business from other countries.

“Markets exist in other countries, especially in the continent, and the Eastern Cape has tradable products. The province has the infrastructure and logistics capacity to move goods to other parts of the continent.

“Through these missions, ECDC intends to introduce Eastern Cape companies to the West African market using Ghana as the gateway. The aim is to link Eastern Cape companies with companies in Ghana, and introduce the Eastern Cape as a viable trading and investment destination,” explains Shenxane.

IMAGE: From LEFT TO RIGHT: Stephen Kotey, marketing officer at the South African High Commission in Ghana, Ian Moore, Director at Port Elizabeth’s Mend-A-Bath International, Mlamli Nodada, Eastern Cape Development Corporation Senior Manager for Trade and Investment Promotion, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre director for investor services Edward Lartey, Asisipho Fihlani, Eastern Cape Development Corporation business advisor for external relations and Bruce Addo, corporate relations officer at the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber

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