The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) organised a conference on how to extend business activities to the ECOWAS region
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) held an ECOWAS Conference to give an insight to participants on the ECOWAS market, the opportunities that represent the market and its challenges. The Conference, held on 24th May at the Residence of the Ambassador of France to Ghana was attended by members of the diplomatic scene along with 90 business executives from Corporate Ghana comprising both CCIFG members and non-members.
The ECOWAS Conference was organised in the frame work of the activities lined up in celebration of the FRANCE AND GHANA 1957-2017 which marks 60 years of bilateral relations between the two Republics. At the welcoming address, H.E. Francois Pujolas commended the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) “for its action in support of the French business community, and moreover of the economic exchanges and partnerships between Ghana and France”. He also emphasized on the key role of the private sector to face challenges, recalling that the best way to move forward for West Africa is the regional integration.
In In her speech, Mrs Delphine Adenot-Owusu, Executive Director of the CCIFG, reaffirmed that ECOWAS represents a unique opportunity for companies to expand their market. She said that this conference contributes to the promotion of the sub-regional goal, and also showcases CCI France Ghana’s effort to promote business development outside Ghana.
The event was facilitated by the Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), Borderless Alliance and GFA Consulting Ltd who led an interactive discussion which dissected the opportunities available in the sub-regional market, and laid emphasis on the distinct advantage that becomes available when businesses make the bold decision to expand its market. It was established that companies need to respond and adapt to the changing configuration of the sub-regional markets. Upon entry into the foreign markets, businesses were advised to focus on learning about the new market and its requirements, select the industry that is most appropriate to compete in, and determine how to leverage core competencies in international markets.
Benefits and opportunities from expanding their businesses to the ECOWAS region were outlined by Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah, the speaker from AGI. These range from: the chance to increase the company’s brand awareness among an entirely new market; and access a completely new customer base thus increasing its market size. Mr. Ziad Hamoui, the speaker from Borderless Alliance, contributed to this discussion with a focus on the challenges that arise in the expansion of one’s business. Finally, Ms Laurence Elong-Mbassi from GFA Consulting Ltd, brought the discussion to an end, giving effective strategies on how to approach the ECOWAS market and create business with other countries. She expanded on the regulations adopted by Ghana such as the Trade Union New Customs tariff which facilitates the extension of business activities to the ECOWAS region. She also addressed other issues using a case study “Ghana-Guinea (Conakry)”, touched on taxation, required work and resident permits, the flexibility of some regulations among ECOWAS member states, and shared effective solutions to certain legal procedures that most often come across as challenges.
The Conference was concluded with a Question & Answer session which gave participants the opportunity to raise issues and concerns that were adequately addressed by the facilitators.