Business News of Thursday, 12 September 2019
Ghana Export Promotion Authority, GEPA has launched its report on 2018 non-traditional export statistics in Accra to evaluate the general performance of Ghana’s non-traditional exports in 2018, as well as provide public insights into the top ten leading non-traditional export products and a comparative analysis of the various sub sectors of export.
GEPA is the National Export Trade Support Institution mandated to develop and promote exports of Ghana. And the organisation’s mandate focuses on the diversification of Ghana’s export base from the traditional export products like unprocessed minerals, cocoa-beans, timber logs and lumber to non-traditional exports (NTEs) such as Agricultural, Processed/Semi Processed goods and Handicrafts.
According to Samuel Dentu, Deputy Chief Executive, Operations and Finance at the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority, GEPA in addition to product development, disseminates essential business information to exporters to know the trends in the market and how they could respond to them. They also engage in building the capacity of exporters to understand how to deal with traders all over the world and that is done through the Export School, which is the Ghana Export Promotion’s flagship program.
He said GEPA, in collaboration with its stakeholders, saw 10.05% improvement in the general performance of Non Traditional Exports from USD 2.446 Billion in 2017 to USD 2.813 Billion in 2018 and this, according to the Deputy CEO of GEPA is good news for the export promotion agency which has gained momentum after a slow growth in the non-traditional export sector over the past recent years.
He indicated that, growth in 2018 was primarily attributed in the growth in cashew production and exportation which accounted for half of the absolute numbers recorded in 2018 and according to Samuel Dentu this was as a result of the commitment GEPA gave to the production and exportation of cashew.
The Deputy Chief Executive Operations and Finance of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Samuel Dentu revealed that although countries such as the Netherlands, India and the United Kingdom are among its top 10 export destinations, it is strategizing to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area and establish strongly within Africa.
“We are concentrating on ECOWAS and looking for market in the ECOWAS sub-region. And the African Continental Free Trade Area is giving us a lot more impetus to do more within the sub-region,” he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Afua Asabea Asare said a National Export Development Strategy, a comprehensive document developed by Government, would be effective in helping the export promotion authority and its stakeholders to achieve the objective of attaining significant national development at the back of exports, since the strategy would clearly have a blueprint for all players in the clearance chain to act upon.
“With the National Export Development Strategy, everybody is going to find their path. It is like a roadmap to where we are all going to, which is over 5 Billion by 2021. It has spelt out what every organisation has to do,” she asserted.
She said the reduction seen in the exportation of some goods such as pineapple would soon see an increase due to measures undertaken by the Authority to scale up production in pineapple.
“We will be reaping the results very soon and because we have given a lot of the pineapple suckers out and by the end of December, we would have given 13 million out. And this is another strategy that we have taken to shore this up.”
Director of Export at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Joshua Azuri who launched the 2018 non-traditional export report, said the Government of Ghana as part of its “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, views exports as pivotal in achieving its objective. Thus, the Ministry of Trade has implemented sustainable initiatives to promote and diversify Ghana’s export for economic growth and this is evident in Ghana’s GDP growth.
He said a National Export Development Strategy by Government will ensure GEPA and its key stakeholders achieve the set target of USD 5.3 Billion by 2021.
Emmanuel Doni Kwame, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Ghana said the ICC drafts rules and regulations for traders globally and one of the international standard definitions is the INCOTERMS 2020.
He said his outfit found the launch of the export statistics for 2018 as a good opportunity to update the Ghanaian export sector on the new rules and regulations of the ICC.
He encouraged exporters, who are key in the trade chain to participate in initiatives the ICC Ghana is embarking on to promote trade facilitation.