Ghana Export Promotion Authority records $1.6b earnings from non-traditional exports

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) says it is intensifying efforts to boost non-traditional exports (NTE) to the West African sub-region to offset any losses in markets in Europe.

Mr Kwadwo Owusu Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, told the Ghana News Agency that the Authority is following developments in Europe with keen interest and is taken proactive steps to diversify the reach of NTE exports.

“We are looking at extending our frontiers in the countries in the West African sub-region, others in Africa and the Maghreb Region through solo exhibitions and participation in trade fairs,” he said after he presented the highlights of the 2010 NTE statistics at the 72nd National Exporters’ Forum in Accra on Wednesday.

In 2009 earnings from the non-traditional export sector registered a negative growth of 9.38 per cent over the 2008 earnings because of the global economic downturn.

Total earnings from the sector amounted to $1.629 billion (GH¢2.345 billion) in 2010, representing an increase of 34.1 per cent in value over the $1.215 billion (GH¢1.723 billion) recorded the previous year.

Mr Agyeman said total earnings of the sector in 2010 are made up of earnings from three main sub-sectors:  Agriculture, Processed and Semi-processed products as well as handicrafts.

Ghana’s non-traditional produce were exported to 140 countries with the European Union alone accounting for more than 50 per cent of the exports.

The ECOWAS region had about 26.4 percent with the rest shared between other African countries and the rest of the world.

Mr Agyeman said earnings from the NTE during the period under review exceeded the GEPC set target of $ 1.45 billion for the year by 12.3 per cent.

He said the review of the NTE sector revealed that the sector is currently being driven by value added products with very strong supply base such as cocoa and timber products.

“The full benefits of these value added process have not being exploited yet as more and more of the raw forms are being exported. It is the long term objective of the government that values are added to these raw products,” he said.

Mr Agyeman said in the short term, expansion of exports would be focused on value added industrial projects without supply problems and to achieve long term objectives, investments must be directed towards potential productive sectors which would  move the country into more value added exports.

He said the outlook for 2011 is bright in view of the sustained macro-economic gains whilst the Export Development and Investment Fund is expected to expand its credit facilities to exporters and export facilitating institutions to help carry out their activities to meet the target level of $1.8 billion set for the year.

In a related development, Mr Kobina Ade Coker, Chairman Governing Council of the GEPA, said the Authority had assumed a new legal status in line with the Revised Ghana Export Authority Act.

“We are at GEPA are very happy about this new designation because it helps to more clearly define our functions in terms of the marketing and promotion of Ghanaian products,” he said.

Source: GNA

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