The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and other stakeholders are partnering the Chinese trade and manufacturing sector to organize the third edition of the Chinese Trade week (CTW) in Accra in June.
The CTW is an initiative under the “belt and road” project – a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government to expand infrastructure development and investment opportunities in Africa, Europe and Asia.
The event is a business to business trade fair show featuring over 100 Chinese manufacturers looking to develop direct trading links with the local business community. For the two-day programme, there will be daily seminars on how to successfully trade with China.
Business operators in sectors such as clothing and textiles, construction materials and machinery, lighting and energy, electrical goods and electronics, packaging and plastic, agricultural machinery and automotive parts and accessories are expected to benefit largely.
This business collaboration would in turn give an invaluable platform and opportunity for local businesses seeking to develop strategic partnership and links with a number of Chinese manufacturers.
What makes this year’s edition particularly interesting and useful for the local business community is that the Chinese Chamber of Commerce has reiterated that a number of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) will enjoy support. What this means is that enterprises attending the event can apply for overseas exhibition subsidy and successful SMEs would be selected and part-financed to exhibit their products at trade fairs in China itself should they meet the requirements set.
Seeing evidence of the prospects of the event on the continent, the African Union (AU) had in 2015 encouraged the Chinese government to expand its scope. Currently, CTW is now hosted in Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, and a number of countries outside the continent namely Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Established in 2013, China Trade Week had its first event in the UAE and this was followed by the first African event in Kenya in 2015. Reports indicate that the business event has significantly boosted trade and investment activities between China and counter-party African economies and it has been welcomed by the local business community in Ghana itself.
Indeed, during the second edition, over 3500 visitors, 100 exhibitors and a number of government institutions participated in the event.
Ghana-China trade relations
Trade partnership and cooperation between the two countries saw significant gains as bilateral trade volumes in 2018 reached US$7 billion. As at second quarter of last year, Ghana was ranked seventh largest trading partner of China in Africa.
In terms of trade exports and imports between the two countries, China’s exports to Ghana in 2018 were valued at US$4.8 billion and imports from Ghana were estimated to be US$1.8 billion. According to Trading Economics, Ghana’s exports to China in 2017 were US$ 2.38 billion.
This indicates a trade deficit of US$3.0 billion on the part of Ghana and the governments of both countries have declared their desire to reduce it. In 2018, China’s non-financial direct investment inflows into Ghana hit US$123m whereas the volume of China’s newly signed contracts in Ghana, indicating its commitments going forward has reached over US$2.9 billion.
By Dundas Whigham