Some Ghanaian exhibitors have given the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) thumbs up for a smooth organisation of their participation in the 15th Edition of the SIAO Fair in Burkina Faso.
The exhibitors told the Ghana News Agency those five days into the fair patronage was good and they had been able to establish contacts with some international buyers interested in distributing their products.
Vera Mckenzie said their participation was well organised and their exhibits arrived on time.
She said there were opportunities in the market so it was important to consolidate the gains made through the participation in future fairs.
“All the buyers want is quality products and once we can provide that they are fine,” adding that Ghanaians must continue to push the frontiers of quality to meet the needs of the internationals market.
Ms Rosemond Appiah, CEO RoseGlitz, who is attending the SIAO fair for the first time, said it was a very good experience to participate in the fair and show the world her creative products.
She said there were enormous opportunities that Ghanaian exporters must work to tap into, especially through the offer of quality products.
“I have had orders and more importantly I was able to build partnership and network,” she added.
Besides, there was the need for follow-ups, the understanding of Customs regulations and the ability to meet the differences in taste of the diverse Chinese population.
For Mohammed Karfo, CEO of Alanzaro Fashion Design Limited, dealers in different kinds of cane products, lauded GEPA for the organisation and said he made contacts.
“I am here not just to sell but get orders for future supplies. It’s been so good,” he added.
Mr Anthony Abraham Kwabena Brenya of the Greater-Accra Arts and Handicrafts Association said it was a great experience to participate in the fair.
“We met different people. They have seen what Ghana has to offer and we have contacts that would help us in the future,” he said.
Other exhibitors, including Frank Toddar and Nana Owusu have similar stories to tell about how the fair had offered them the opportunity to advertise their works.
Ms Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, who was on hand on Tuesday to mark Ghana Day at the SIAO Fair, described Ghana’s participation in the fair as a success.
She said apart from exhibitors making business to business contacts, she was excited by the quality of products, including artefacts, batik-tie and dye, as well as woodcarvings, being exhibited by the Ghanaians.
“I believe with a little help and training we could have products that can compete favourably with others on the international market,” she said.
Mrs Theodora Froko, Director of Handicrafts, said the SIAO Fair offered opportunities to exhibitors on two levels, the exhibition and contacts for future deals.
She said the essence of participation was not just to sell but more importantly for the entrepreneurs to identify and establish contacts with potential investors for future partnership.
Ghana Export Promotion Authority is coordinating the participation of over 30 exhibitors in the 10-day fair, which is running from October 26 to November 4.
Held biennially in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the International Arts and Crafts Fair, known as Le Salon International de L’Artisanant de Ouagadougou (SIAO) in French is one of Africa’s most important trade shows for arts and handicrafts.
It shows a wide variety of artistic expression of African creativity, skills, beauty and functionality which also informs the world about Africa’s historical origins and cultural heritage.
This year’s edition, which also coincides with the 30th anniversary celebration since the institution of the fair, is being held under the theme: “African Handicrafts, Market Requirements and Technological Development.”