Export Barbados is helping six local manufacturers to get their products into Ghana. On Wednesday, April 13, Barbados took the first step in cementing commercial ties with that West African nation and the broader African continent. Representatives of the companies gathered to load the 20-foot container that set off on its journey across the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, April 15.
Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, the Honourable Davidson Ishmael, who was in attendance, described the event as “historic”. He said it signifies the reconnection of the ties between Barbados and the Motherland and will allow Ghanaians to experience some of the high-quality products synonymous with Barbados. Minister Ishmael is confident that this shipment will be the first of many, and not just to Ghana but Africa in general. He noted that the market is ripe to tap into, as the African population is projected to grow to 1.7 billion by 2030, and spending by African consumers and businesses is expected to reach $6.66 trillion by 2030.
Minister Ishmael added, “We’re starting in Ghana, but we’re hoping that we can then go further afield, all throughout the continent of Africa, because there’s significant demand for our products no matter where we go… So we want to encourage local producers to see Africa as an open playing field for them, an open market for them to be able to see how they can get their products and services onto the continent of Africa”.
Export Barbados acted as an export platform, facilitating and consolidating the shipment of products from the companies, which otherwise may not have been able to ship to Ghana on their own. The companies involved in the initiative are Armstrong Manufacturing, Caribbean Sugar Limited, Bajan 1966 Rum, Woodland Radicle International Inc. (Cockspur Rum), Roberts Manufacturing and Trowel Plastics Barbados Limited. The products on their way to Ghana include Rum, Brown Sugar, Claytons Kola Tonic, Trowel Plastic, Shortening, Margarine, Soybean Oil and Dog Food, and are expected to arrive in late May.