Veep calls for development of services export portfolio

John Mahama - Vice President

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, has called for the development of services export since the country could not afford to continue to ignore the sector in its export portfolio for economic development.

He said the global services trade was now greater than goods trade and it was estimated that services export would grow and represent half of the world’s economy by 2020.

Vice President Dramani Mahama said this in a speech read for him by Dr Bernard Kwasi Glover, member of the Council of State at the 21st National Awards for Export Achievement 2010, in Accra on Saturday.

He asked the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to do the necessary consultation to concretely explore, exploit and package this sector and mainstream it into Ghana’s non-traditional export portfolio

The National Awards for export Achievement scheme was introduced by the GEPA as part of the overall plan of government to stimulate growth of non-traditional exports, to cushion the volatility of earnings from traditional exports.

In addition, it was to formally recognize the contributions of exporters in the non-traditional export sector to the economic prosperity of the country.

Vice President Mahama said the bedrock of every country’s success was inextricably linked with the strength of its export sector and the extent to which this all important sector was diversified.

“Accordingly, successful economies have invested in measures to brand its export products and services, it is in this vein that we have embarked on a number of national programmes to brand our country, products and services,” he said.

Vice President Dramani Mahama assured the GEPA of governments’ support, and called on the GEPA to play a facilitation role to support exporters to take advantage of derivatives.

He noted that the long –term sustainability of the economy was based on collaborative efforts at boosting exports, especially the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector, saying that government has always been committed to the development and promotion of the sector.

He expressed the hope that this export portfolio would not only increase the country’s export earning but provide the needed sustainable jobs for many Ghanaians.

Mr Kwadwo Owusu Agyeman, Chief Executive, GEPA, said the leading NTE products for 2010 included: Cocoa Butter, Canned Tuna, Articles of Plastics, Veneer, Natural Rubber Sheets, Plywood, Fresh or Chilled Tunas, Shea Butter and Cashew Nut.

He noted that the total value of these products was $1.07 billion representing 66.07 per cent of the total NTE for last year.

“This revelation gives credits to our new enterprise and product development approach which will enable us focus on the sectors with high growth potentials, while coaching the small and medium exporters…,” he added.

In all 11 exporters were awarded in the silver category while 27 were honoured in the gold category and for the first time, the Woman Exporter of the year category was introduced and  it was won by Margaret Tweneboah- Boateng of Excel Industries Limited, manufacturers and exporter of aluminium household utensils.

Source: GNA

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