The 7th Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Trade Fair on the theme “Regional Integration through Trade” has been opened in Accra on Thursday.
Twelve out of 15 member states are participating in the 12-day fair at the Ghana Trade Fair Centre to show case their goods and services.
Dr Toga McinTosh, Vice President of ECOWAS Commission commended Ghana for hosting the fair which was first held in Dakar, Senegal in 1995.
He said it was imperative that member states showed commitment in strengthening their unity as no single country could alone extend its operational space and enlarged products.
“There should be the will-power from both public and private institutions from the region to harmonise national and regional policies for the promotion of trade”, he said.
He called on member states to ensure the availability of good roads, energy, warehouse, human and other economic resources to promote trade, adding that, the sub region was blessed with natural resources and it must be harnessed for the benefit of the people.
Dr McinTosh said this year’s fair went beyond the traditional one of just buying and selling as there were experts from the various field of trade to share information with participants.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry urged participants to use the fair to showcase their goods and services and create new relationship through networking.
He called on African leaders to emulate the European Union by strengthening their ties and adopting a common currency market as well as promoting inter and intra trade.
He also urged member states to improve the quality and standard of their goods in order to increase export.
Mr Iddrisu called on members of the public to patronise the fair and make it successful.
In a speech read on his behalf, Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur said, government was happy to host the fair, and that, it was important that member states strengthened their ties through trade in order to reduce inflation, poverty and improved standard of living of their people.
He also called for the removal of artificial bottlenecks that hindered trade among member states to promote integration.
Mr Arthur expressed the hope that the fair would be used to revamp businesses and promote competition.
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