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Business News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


Coronavirus: 2020 WTPO Conference finally postponed

Madam Dorothy Tembo, ITC Executive Director (L) and Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA Madam Dorothy Tembo, ITC Executive Director (L) and Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA

As reported exclusively by the Goldstreet Business last month, this year’s edition of the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) Conference has finally been postponed.

The Conference which was originally scheduled in Accra in May will now be held in October 14th to 15th.

The ITC in partnership with Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) rescheduled the date for the event due to the current global situation regarding the continuous increase of the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infections which has brought a halt to almost all global business activities.

“The co-hosts made the decision in light of the current situation with COVID-19 and the World Health Organisation declaration of a pandemic, as well as the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Government of Ghana. All registered participants are confirmed for the new dates”, a statement from GEPA states.

Consideration for a change of date for the Conference started early last month when most European countries became epicenters of the disease and GEPA thought it was prudent to take immediate action on the impending event.

The Authority and its organizing partners gave themselves up to the middle of April to determine whether to go ahead in hosting the conference along current timelines or postpone it.

Key Highlights

All Trade Promotion Organisations across the world are expected to attend the event in Accra. After winning the bid to host the event in 2018 in France, GEPA in collaboration with its stakeholders have been putting in place measures aimed at ensuring a successful event.

This comes at a time where the continent with over 1.2 billion people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of nearly US$3 trillion is preparing to implement the pan African trade policy – the African Continental Free Trade Area – this year, but which commencement also hangs in the balance due to the COVID 19 global pandemic.

The Conference which will run alongside an awards ceremony seeks to address the current trade environment and the uncertainties that might arise, along with outlining what it will take for organizations to adapt and thrive in the emergent globalized business ecosystem.

Some key discussions at the event will address the ecological, digital, social and geopolitical revolutions that are changing the world and affecting trade, and will outline the change in purpose and culture that organizations should undergo in advancing a human-centric approach, the ITC revealed.

During her visit to Ghana last month, Madam Dorothy Tembo, ITC’s executive director, told the Goldstreet Business that in terms of getting comprehensive solutions in addressing the challenges that might arise in the implementation of the AfCFTA, there is the need for countries to come to terms with the challenges and address them holistically.