In February, Finnpartnership together with Embassy of Finland in Abuja and other partners organized Doing Business with Finland seminars in Accra, Ghana on February 26th and in Cotonou, Benin on February 28th. The seminars brought together Ghanaian and Beninese companies with a group of Finnish companies. In addition, over twenty Finnish companies interested in the West African market sent their marketing material to Finnpartnership, which presented the companies at the seminars.
The first one of the Doing Business with Finland seminars during the trip was organized in Accra, Ghana on February 26th. The focus sectors of the seminar were education, ICT and agriculture. The seminar had a total of 80 participants, and most of the participants presented local companies from the chosen sectors. Many of the companies presented agriculture sector, thus there seemed to be high interest for Finnish agriculture know-how in Ghana. Finnpartnership organized the seminar together with Finnpartnership’s local partner, NBSSI, the Embassy of Finland in Abuja, Business Finland and the Embassy of Ghana in Denmark.
Finnpartnership presented Finnpartnership’s and Finnfund’s services to Ghanaian companies as well as a number of Finnish companies, which are currently looking for business partners from Ghana. At the seminar, Finnpartnership presented over 20 Finnish companies that couldn’t attend the seminar in person but hope to find a suitable business partner. Besides this, there were representatives from six Finnish companies at the seminar.
At the event, there was an interesting speech by Ghanaian entrepreneur Mr Gilbert Kofi Awuah, who is currently representing a Finnish company in Ghana. During his speech, Kofi discussed his experiences in working with Finns and brought up the strengths of both Finland and Ghana as business environments.
After the seminar in Ghana, Finnpartnership held a Doing Business with Finland seminar in Cotonou, Benin on February 28th. The seminar focused especially on the sectors of education, forestry and agriculture. There were approximately 25 Beninese companies, two Finnish companies and altogether 50 participants present to hear about business opportunities between Finland and Benin. Finnpartnership also presented 21 Finnish companies that are looking for Beninese business partners. The seminar was organized in cooperation with APIEx (Agence de Promotion des Investissements et des Exportations) and the Beninese Chamber of Commerce.
The audience was especially interested in Finnpartnership’s Exporting to Finland presentation and its sector-specific information about tropical fruits, nuts and nut-related products and tourism. The production of cashew nuts, for example, brings significant income to local, regional and national economies: cashew exports represent 25% of total agricultural exports in Benin (CIR Benin). The cashew production in Benin is expected to register a growth rate of 55% between 2015 and 2025.