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By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The ECOWAS stand at the ongoing 7th Regional Trade in Accra has continued to record a large number of visitors expressing interest in the progammes and activities of the regional economic bloc.

The visitors were from various walks of life included political leaders, diplomats, researchers, students, manufacturers, investors, traders and ordinary citizens.

Among those who visited the stand on Thursday 7th November 2013 which was observed as host country Ghana's Day were the country's Deputy Foreign Minister, honourable Thomas Quartey, the Acting Director of Exports, Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as Ambassador Claudia Turbay, the Colombian Ambassador to Ghana and 14 other West African countries and her husband Mr. Gonzalo Moreno.

Others were Mr. Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, Acting Director of Exports at the Ghana Ministry of Trade and Industry and Mrs. Rose Oppey, Board member, Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd., as well as Mr. Nana Kwame Ofori Amanfo, Exhibition Director and member of the Fair's Local and Regional Organizing Committees.

Also at the stand on Thursday were La-Mantse Nii Kpobi Tettey-Tsuru III, traditional ruler in charge of the community hosting Ghana's International Trade Centre, venue of the trade fair and other visitors from within and outside the region including Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago.

Colombian Ambassador Turbay, who has been in West Africa for just three months expressed her willingness to establish lasting cooperation between her country and ECOWAS with a view to deepening South-South relations between ECOWAS and the South Pacific region.

The envoy was also accompanied by Mr. Fernando Grilk, a Minister at the Colombian embassy.

In line with the practice since the opening of the two-week Trade Fair on 31st October 2013, visitors to the ECOWAS stand, which is equipped, among other facilities with two television sets beaming documentaries on the organization, were briefed on the organization's operations, mission, goals, objectives and the benefits of the biennial regional fair.

ECOWAS officials manning the stand also answered enquires from the visitors, with most of them collecting publications containing the organization's various legal instruments, protocols, decisions and statements, as well as copies of the ECOWAS daily bulletin on the Trade Fair.

Speaking during the ceremony to mark the Ghana Day, Mr. Nyarko-Mensah disclosed that some 690 companies, including 20 from outside the ECOWAS region were participating in the trade event. Most the companies are from the 11 participating ECOWAS countries, while the others are from Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, Turkey and India.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Free Movement and Tourism, Mr. Hamid Ahmed was represented at the occasion by Mr. Adou Koman.

Meanwhile, Exhibition Director Nana Amanfo has urged ECOWAS to intensify support to ensure the full and active participation of all Member States in the biennial trade event, as a critical platform for growing intra-community trade and facilitating regional integration and economic development.

Nigeria observed its National Day at the Fair on Wednesday 6th November 2013. Togo and the Federation of ECOWAS Business Women will take their turns on Friday to be followed by a Business to Business Meeting on Saturday. The activities will be rounded off with an ECOWAS Press Conference and an official closing ceremony on Monday 11th November 2013.