President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Dr Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso 1, has tasked local exporters and businesses to take advantage of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
With an upward trend in exports under the AGO Programme, Ghana’s trade with the US totalled $748million in 2018.
Speaking to participants at the 2019 AGO Expo in New York, USA, Dr Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso 1 said: “getting to know what AGOA is about and the trade policies and opportunities available in the US market is pivotal to the growth and competitiveness of businesses.”
The opening workshop, attended by representatives from the US Food and Drugs Authority, participants among others saw the issue of labelling dominate the products of Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
Former Senior Public Affairs Specialist with the US Foods and Drugs Administration – Dr Dilcia Granville, lamented “the huge disconnect between quality and labelling which has seen many products from Ghana restricted to the USA alone.”
She admonished participants to be wary of venturing to the US market without knowing the rules and regulations involved.
“Many countries do not have laws like the FDA to make sure products are well labelled. We check little things as the bacteria, calorie content. We are working with different countries to see if food regulations are compatible with the US. When they are compatible, we then sign MoUs with them. That’s why it’s best to work with the Chamber of Commerce in Ghana for example,” she explained.
Also, Regional Director, Eastern Region Export-Import Bank of the United States, Richard Foy explained that the US government is very engaged with Ghana and other African countries for the financing of machinery especially as most of them move in to industrialize.
“Our goal is US-based. I encourage Ghanaian exporters to look to the US for the procurement of machinery. With the US Exim Bank, we have comprehensive financing modules for each one of them. We have specific arrangements with the government of Ghana to allow for exporters to source out machinery from the US – that’s why the AGOA event is so important,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Accra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nana Agyenim Boateng, told JoyBusiness the AGOA event will see the Accra Chamber draft out new programs to assist businesses in Ghana to remain internationally competitive.
Ninety per cent of products from Ghana and across Africa get rejected on a daily basis by the FDA and Immigration of the United States America. Despite there being a trillion-dollar untapped business opportunity for local businesses, the key issue is that most of them have no idea about the regulations regarding the sale and marketing of products to the US market.
In recognition of the Chamber’s active role through the Ghana-AGOA Trade Resource Centre (ATRC), the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry is participating in the AGOA Expo & Trade Fair, from Thursday, 5th December to Tuesday, December 10 2019.
The event will see the Vice President of Coca Cola engage the Ghanaian delegation and other participants from 10 African economies.
The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, will be leading the delegation comprising business visitors and trade exhibitors and present investment and business opportunities under AGOA in Ghana.
The AGOA Expo is a cultural and business platform aimed at celebrating US-African cooperation, strengthening bilateral trade relations, promoting AGOA key export products and investment opportunities.
There would be a number of activities including African Beverages and Food Show, African Apparel, Textiles and Footwear Exhibition, AGOA Apparel Fashion Week, Exhibition of Leather and African Cosmetics, African Music and Urban Dances, AGOA Festival Workshops and Networking.
The participants for this event are the United States, AGOA eligible countries including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya among others.
The AGOA Festival is a cultural and business platform committed to celebrating the US – Africa cooperation, strengthen bilateral trade relations, promote AGOA Key Export Products and Investment Opportunities through African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).
It is also a great opportunity for American Companies to explore sourcing opportunities in Africa, expand their business or introduce new products, services in the African Countries AGOA eligible with direct access to Authorities and Business Leaders.
A wide variety of activities are organized periodically in US Cities to boost African exports products and take advantage of the AGOA legislation with new partnerships and joint ventures.