GEPA set to host 13th World Trade Promotion Organizations conference in Accra after years of postponement

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The stage is set for trade and investments promotion organizations across the world to meet in Ghana for the 13th World Trade Promotions Organization (WTPO) Conference.

The 13th WTPO Conference will be hosted by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) after it won the bid at the 12th WTPO Conference in 2018 hosted by France beating competitors such as Turkey and Kenya in the race.

Although the 13th edition was initially scheduled to take place in 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the conference causing the postponement to 2022.

Finally, with the pandemic brought under control, the much awaited conference is set to be held in Accra at the Labadi Beach Hotel on the 17th and 18th of May, 2022. GEPA is hosting the conference in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, a development agency of the UN and the World Trade Organization that connects small business to global markets.

The conference, according to the organizers, will be held under the theme “Bold Solutions for Resilience and Recovery.”

According to the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, the conference will host about 150 trade promotion leaders coming from all world regions, as well as the local diplomatic community.

Addresing the media in Accra on Friday, May 13, 2022, she added that it will also offer the opportunity for countries to learn from their peers in terms of strategies employed to ensure sustainable businesses.

Commenting on the benefits Ghana will derive from the conference, Dr. Afua Asabea explained that the conference will further project Ghana to the international business community as a favourable hub for Foreign Direct Investment.

“We are going to gain a lot from what is happening at the WTPO. We are going to learn from our peers what they have done to sustain businesses in their countries. It is a peer-sharing experience that is going to happen there. We are going to learn from the best practices. We are going to expose Ghana to the world. We are exposing what we have to the world.

Executive Director at the International Trade Centre, Pamela Coke-Hamilton stressed on the need for such a conference indicating that it is very crucial that countries avoid the tendency to look inwards considering the impact of the COVID pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

She said, “we are already seeing a movement of near-shoring or friend shoring taking place where there are amazing opportunities now for Africa because of the shift out of Asia and China towards potential markets which will loosen up the supply chain and allow greater ease in movement.”

“It is important to realize that there has not been a crisis like this in over a 100years and so none of us will know how to address this in real-time. That added to the conflict with Ukraine has exacerbated the situation, increased supply costs, migration and refugee crisis,” added.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is scheduled to open the conference as Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Alan Kyerematen, will also speak at the opening ceremony.

Sir Partha Dasgupta, a globally recognized economist who links biodiversity to gross domestic product, is the guest speaker. Ms. Coke-Hamilton and Dr. Asare are event speakers, along with heads of national trade promotion organizations from around the world.

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