Ghana and Nigeria to strengthen trade ties

Accra, Aug. 15, GNA
– The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Nigerian Export Promotion
Council (NEPC) are to explore ways to deepen their relationship to enhance
trade between the two countries.

At a meeting
between officials of the two institutions in Accra, they agreed to seek ways to
combine their strengths to promote exports of goods and services between the
two countries and within the West African sub-region.

As a first step,
the two institutions will revisit an old Memorandum of Understanding signed
between them with the view of reviewing it to suit current situations.

Speaking at the
meeting, Mr James Tiigah, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said there were
many areas in which Ghana, Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region could
collaborate for increased trade.

However, he said,
there was the urgent need to abide by the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) protocols which were to facilitate trade among countries in the
region.

Mr Tiigah said the
so many barriers, in gross disrespect of the ECOWAS protocols, had hampered
trade in volume and value among the countries in the sub-region and there was
the need to break down those barriers and eliminate the human factor. 

Nigeria has for
many years banned the importation of some products including palm oil and gari
from Ghana in spite of various trade liberalisation policies in the sub-region.

Mr Tiigah noted
that the Authority is currently implementing the National Export Strategy with
focus on 11 products, majority of which are in the agriculture sector, to boost
export revenues and enhance the contribution of the non-traditional export
sector to the development of the economy.

He said GEPA had
also embarked on a baseline study to know where the producers were and working
on traceability of the supply chain as well as developing a market portal to
make all trade information available.

Mr Olusegun
Awolowo, the Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, said Nigeria
was similarly going through an institutional review of its strategic vision
with the view to diversifying the economy away from oil.

In this direction,
each state is being required to identify one key export product that would be
developed and promoted.

Mr Awolowo said
funding and incentives to exporters were critical to ensuring success in the
export drive and these were being actively looked at to achieve set goals.

GNA

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