In October, ASL Global was invited to attend the 2018 UK Ghana Investment summit, an event created to promote Ghana as an investment destination for companies and investors in the UK and other key global markets. This year’s theme was ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ and, along with Ghana’s top CEO’s and ‘Captains of Trade’, our Africa & Middle East Team was invited to participate in dialogue specifically around developing the garment & textile manufacturing sector in the region.
ASL Global is the biggest global promotional agency with a presence in Africa. As a major buyer of finished goods, ASL closes the loop in the value chain for this sector and is uniquely placed to provide local manufacturers with the opportunity to reach global markets, one of the Ghanaian government’s top priorities in the ongoing initiative to industrialise the country.
Bryn Leadbeater, ASL’s Regional Sales Director for Africa & the Middle East, commented on the summit “Whilst we gained some incredible insights into the wider Ghanaian economy, it was refreshing that the summit became very action-oriented. For example, we spent a lot of time with our friends at Ethical Apparel Africa to understand the capability and benefits of the Ghana apparel industry. EAA are doing some amazing things in Ghana and it’s exciting to be part of such a worthwhile initiative”.
ASL is already developing relationships with some great textile businesses in Ghana. During the final afternoon of the summit our team took the opportunity to visit some local manufacturers. Bryn commented on the visit “We were privileged to learn more about one of Ghana’s success stories in developing an SME into a fully-fledged textiles operation, exporting products globally. We also visited a few smaller operations that are looking for investors to help transform their businesses into similar success stories. Truly inspiring entrepreneurs!”
So, could Ghana become a sourcing powerhouse for garments and textiles? There are some good reasons to believe that local manufacturers can fulfil this potential. West Africa provides around 60% of the world’s cotton but currently exports 85% of this in its raw form. Ghana has some great trade agreements in place with the US and Europe which facilitate the frictionless export of textiles to these huge markets. Geographically, Ghana is located in the centre of the world (zero longitude and zero latitude) so shipping times and costs are significantly less than other countries in more traditional mass-manufacturing countries such as China or India. All this adds up to a great opportunity for Ghana to build a robust industry in the manufacturing of textiles and garments.
Reflecting on the two-day summit, Bryn concluded “There is huge potential for Ghana to develop its fledgling textiles business into a major global export industry. However, for all these benefits to deliver something really special there needs to be vertical integration across the value chain. This is where ASL can help. Ghanaian manufacturers provide high quality, good value garments which is something always in demand with our clients. We can unlock global markets through our trading relationships with global consumer brands. It’s a win-win situation for our customers, with the added bonus of supporting entrepreneurial local businesses to help build a scalable and sustainable economy for Ghana”
ASL works with suppliers across in 150+ countries worldwide. For more information about how we collaborate with these suppliers to source sustainable products and support local communities contact us today.