- More than 250 European and local companies are to participate in the Input 2005 Conference in Accra, Ghana, from 30 November to 2 December. The regional investment conference and business meeting in the Ghanaian capital is to promote investment and business opportunities in West and Central Africa's water, energy and transport sectors.
The principal objective of the conference is to provide the more than 250 European and local companies attending the possibility to contact new potential clients, providers and partners in Europe, West Africa or Central Africa, according to the organisers, EnergyNet. It is an aim that several cooperation agreements are signed during the event, such as joint-ventures, technology know-how transfers, distribution, subcontracting and technical assistance.
According to the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX), which has secured that Spanish companies will have a great visibility at Input 2005, this part of Africa has a good investment potential. The region of West and Central Africa has seen an average GDP growth of more than 4 percent in 2004, ICEX holds, while the budget deficit of countries in the region are at the lowest level of the last decade.
ICEX further notes, addressing Spanish investors, that this economic growth in the region is expected to be maintained during the next few years, as it is paralleled by the implementation of legislation more favourable of private enterprises.
This drive to promote investments in the region counts on a strong support from European financial institutions and cooperation agencies. INPUT 2005 itself is sponsored by the European Commission through PROINVEST as part of the EU-ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) partnership.
According to ICEX, European sponsors in particular are eager to promote investments in the water, energy and transport sectors as these infrastructures "still are inadequate when it comes to satisfy the needs of the population, the need for economic development and the protection of the environment."
During the celebration of INPUT 2005, there will be held seminars that allow participants to anticipate the demands of the developing West and Central African markets and as such identify business opportunities and possibilities of European-African cooperation, allowing for synergies between the private and public sectors, the promoters promise.
According to EnergyNet, "tailor-made business-to-business meetings are a key feature of INPUT 2005." Politicians, heads of utilities and state enterprises, entrepreneurs, and senior representatives of international companies and organisations are expected meet at the conference, which also aims at giving an opportunity for the region's many state companies being in a privatisation process.
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