The sector currently rakes in more than $1.0 billion.
A key element of this was to ensure that management and staff acquired the relevant expertise in anticipation of the lead role GEPA would play in the implementation of the National Export Strategy.
Speaking at a validation workshop of the TRADECOM Capacity Building Project in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Alexander Dadzawa, Head of Projects Department, said the project was in line with GEPA’s quest to develop the necessary skills and expertise in leading activities in the sector.
The overall objective of the TradeCom Capacity building project is to promote sustainable development and contribute to poverty eradication in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific region through regional integration and gradual integration into the world economy.
It is also to strengthen the capacity of GEPA in the area of market access.
Mr Dadzawa said the TradeCom Facility supported GEPA with a capacity building programme, to enhance their preparedness to implement policies and programmes aimed at achieving the Non-Traditional Export target of $5.0 billion revenue by 2016.
In the course of the Tradecom Project, GEPA tested new methodologies and mechanisms such as individual sales missions to the two key targeted markets of the EU and ECOWAS in favour of Ghanaian exporters of non-traditional products.
In anticipation of the key role that GEPA would be playing in the implementation of the National Export Strategy, the National Export Development Programme (NEDP), the project also assisted GEPA to prepare a methodology for the formulation and implementation of sector strategies.
In the process, a strategy was prepared for the horticultural export sector.
The mission to Germany (EU) in February 2012 focused on the export of fresh and dried fruits, spices, medicinal plants and coffee. Eight exporters from Ghana joined the mission to Germany; each exporter had approximately 8-10 individual meetings with the German importers.
Eight exporters of wooden furniture, aluminium household utensils and roofing sheets joined the mission to Liberia and Mali (ECOWAS) in March 2012. During the mission to ECOWAS each exporter had more than 10 individual meetings with potential importers in Liberia and Mali.
To estimate the market potential of the targeted countries and to find suitable business partners for the selected exporters from Ghana, an exploratory mission to ECOWAS took place in advance to prepare the sales mission in a professional way.
During the exploratory missions to Liberia and Mali, GEPA officers identified suitable business partners and fixed the meeting appointments with the identified potential importers on behalf of the Ghanaian exporters.
Due to the success of the two sales missions, which has been confirmed by the participants, GEPA will deploy this tool increasingly in its market entry activities with a view to assisting the exporters in obtaining more orders for their products.
GEPA expresses its sincere gratitude to the European Commission and particularly, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, President of ACP-EU Commission for his efforts which resulted in the funding of the Project and the AFC Consultants International, Germany for providing the technical guidance for the successful execution of the project.