GEPA to begin implementation of National Export Strategy in 2020

Accra, Dec. 12, GNA
– The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will begin the implementation of
the ten-year National Export Development Strategy next year, once the document
is approved.

The document, which
has been completed by GEPA, is awaiting approval of the Minister of Trade and
Industry and Cabinet.

Addressing
stakeholders at the 79th Exporters Forum on Thursday, Dr Afua Asabea
Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the key target of the Strategy
is to achieve a Non-Traditional Export Revenue of at least US$10 billion by the
end of the Strategy’s implementation period in 2028.

Dr Asare said GEPA
had been able to embark on some strategic interventions geared towards ensuring
that the Authority was aligned towards expanding the country’s export revenue
base, especially with the coming into effect of the African Continental Free
Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

The initiatives
include training programmes in Financing and Trade Sustainability for Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises, providing exposure to 160 exporters in about 15
international exhibitions and provision of approximately 20million suckers of
pineapple to farmers with expected returns within a period.

There is also a
provision of 220,000 grafted cashew seedlings developed under the National
Cashew Development Initiative and Cashew Industry Association of Ghana (CIAG)
have been given to cashew farmers to encourage cultivation of healthy and
quality crops.

“We will have to be
ready – we have to ensure our people can understand and appreciate the
importance of AfCFTA and its relevance to them on a social and economic level,”
Dr Asabea said.

“We have to be
ready. The greatest threat to any initiative is to believe that someone else
will drive it and make it run. We have to make our exporters ready for the
opportunities when they come knocking,” she added.

Dr Asabea said GEPA
would lead the task of breaking down what AfCFTA means to the ordinary man on
the streets, adding that the Authority would embark on a nationwide roadshow to
bring the relevance of AfCFTA home. 

“Otherwise, sadly we
will only be a host to AfCFTA and not a successful participant. I implore all
partners here present, to rise up to the task when we call on you to come along
with us on this nationwide roadshow in the coming months,” she added.

On his part, Mr Alan
Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, in a speech read on his
behalf, commended the exporters and other stakeholders on the various roles
they play.

He said government
was committed to diversifying and broadening the country’s exports so as to
provide a solid base for foreign exchange earnings.

Government’s desire
to reinforce the need for structural transformation and value addition to
products with the view to earning more foreign exchange

He said with the advent
of the AfCFTA, which seeks to promote a single continental market for those in
the export trade, it was time for the Ghanaian entrepreneurs to seek more
information on the agreement and seize the opportunities it would offer in
order to benefit from it.

He said the
agreement had the potential to increase the economy of scale, access to
affordable raw material and resources and regional market.

Mr Sandy Osei
Agyeman, Board Chairman of GEPA, called for the revamp of the GEPA bill, to
give it more autonomy to be able to implement its policies to enable the
country to move from being import-dependent to an export-oriented one.

Stakeholders at the
forum, which was on the theme: “Effective Dialogue – an inspiration for
improved business partnerships,” touched on issues such as value addition, the
role of stakeholder institutions such as the Foods and Drug Authority and the
Ghana Standards Authority.

GNA

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