The 6th West African International Trade Show on Agriculture, Food Processing, Plastics and Packaging, Plastics and Packaging has opened in Accra.
The three-day exhibition fair themed "The Agrofood Processing Value Chain in West Africa - Status quo and future outlook" had 80 exhibitors from 17 countries.
Opening the fair at the Accra International Conference Center, the Trade and Industry Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, by Mr Ntim Donkoh, Director for domestic Trade, emphasised on the importance of the agro-industry to Ghana and the West African sub-region as a whole.
"The agro-processing sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the sub-region. The entire value chain of food processing includes important activities like manufacturing, logistics, cooling, storage, packaging and many more."
He also said: "The Ministry stands ready to support local companies as well as foreign companies in their business operations in the country.
“In that regard, foreign investors like Fairafric, a company that will produce chocolate in Ghana for the German market, are welcome to start a business and will be supported by the institutions in the country."
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of Fairtrade, Paul Marz said the food trade industry in West Africa runs into billions of dollars hence the need to formulate ideas to enhance it.
"According to the World Trade Organisation, West African food imports in 2017 reached $16.19 billion and exports to $14.38 billion."
The fair has seven country pavilions: China, Flanders/Belgium, Germany, Morroco, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Agrofood and plastprintpack West Africa 2019 will also be supplemented by a 3-day program full of presentations and conferences organised jointly by fairtrade and AHK Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana.