PARMAforEXPO: our city welcomes the President of the Republic of Ghana


The African country is an important commercial partner for Italy. As a matter of fact in 2014 Italy-Ghana total trade amounted to 696 million Euros. The visit of the institutional delegation from Ghana targeted the Parma agri-food system, with a special focus on the processing tomato district: a district that makes Parma the leading player in our country.


Parma, July 18, 2015 – The PARMAforEXPO working group welcomed today in our city an institutional delegation from Ghana, visiting Italy on the occasion of EXPO. The Ghanaian delegation was led by His Excellency the President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama, accompanied by Hon. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister for Trade & Industry, Hon. Fiifi Kwetey, Minister for Food & Agriculture, H.E. Laura Carpini, Italian Ambassador to Ghana and Togo, and the CEOs of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Ghana and of Ghana Export Promotion Authority.

The Ghanaian institutional delegation was welcomed by the stakeholders of the PARMAforEXPO working group in the beautiful setting of Palazzo Soragna, the headquarters of Parma Association of Entrepreneurs (UPI) by Alberto Figna, President of UPI; Federico Pizzarotti, Mayor of the City of Parma; Simona Caselli, Councillor for Agriculture, Hunting and Fishing of the Emilia-Romagna Region; Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma; prof. Erasmo Neviani, Delegate of the University of Parma for EXPO; and Cesare Azzali, Head of UPI and CEO of PARMAforEXPO.

With a population of 26,4 million people and a GDP for 2014 amounting to 38,7 billion dollars (source: World Bank data), Ghana’s economy has been enjoying a constant rate of economic growth for some years now: after the record growth rates of 2008 (+9,1%) and 2011 (+14%), in 2014 the GDP increased by 4,6%. Growth forecasts for the 2015-2017 period also are extremely positive, with expected annual growth rates of 3,5%, 5,9% and 7,8% respectively. Ghana is for Italy an important commercial partner: last year the total trade between the two Countries accounted for 696 million euros. The biggest trade opportunities are offered by the industries of agriculture, infrastructure, energy and oil and gas. Italy is the world’s fifth-largest importer from Ghana, importing in particular tropical fruits, timber, seafood, and gemstones. Among the main exports – Italy is in fact the 17th largest exporter towards Ghana – there are instead agri-food products, machines for special uses, refined petroleum products and motor vehicles.

The common thread of the visit by Ghana’s presidential delegation to Parma was the agri-food sector with a particular focus on the processing tomato production district: in Parma approximately 5.000 hectares are devoted to the growing of tomato and nine different factories process about one million tons of tomato, accounting for 20% of the total product which is processed in Italy. The institutional meeting held at Palazzo Soragna was preceded by a visit to the farm Azienda Agricola Araldi Pietro e Luigi where the scientific advisor Gabriele Canali, representing “OI Pomodoro da Industria Nord Italia” -the Interprofessional Organisation for processing tomato of Northern Italy-   explained the secrets of tomato growing as well as the specific characteristics of tomato processing.

After the visit to the farm, the Ghanaian institutional delegation headed to Ozzano Taro to visit one of the production plants belonging to the Rodolfi Group, a local excellence which, with over 110 years of experience, is one among the oldest companies specialising in the processing of tomato and in the production of tomato-based products such as tomato paste, pulp, passata, sauces, and dried tomato powder.


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