Export–led development key to Ghana’s future -Trade Minister

Ekow Spio-Garbrah - Minister of Trade
Ekow Spio-Garbrah – Minister of Trade

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, says the need for an aggressive pursuit of an export-led development agenda is the key to the country’s future and economic growth.

In an interview with the GNA, Dr Spio-Grabrah said unless the country is able to generate foreign exchange through the sale of its natural and value added products, it would not be able to balance its budget.

“We all in Ghana know that export-led development is the key to the country’s future. This is because unless we can generate foreign exchange through the sales of our natural and value added products we will not be able to balance our budget,” he said.

The Minister, who is leading a delegation of more than 60 businesses and government officials to the fair, was speaking after a visit to Ghana’s exhibition pavillion at the ongoing 19th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said Ghana’s participation in fairs in China was important to help promote exports and to also attract investments in terms of capital, technology and needed skills.

“It is important Ghana’s products become known in China. China is one of the largest markets in the world not only in terms of the population but also in terms of its recent successful economic growth and the increase in the size of the middle class and its increasing purchasing power,” he said.

On the funding of the National Export Strategy, the Minister said the conversion of the Export Development Agricultural and Investment fund into an EXIM Bank next year would place it in a better position to help support more projects and products.

It would also help in adding value to many of the raw materials and enhance agro-processing opportunities.

More than $500 million would be required to implement the National Export Strategy which aims at increasing revenue from Non-Traditional Exports to $5 billion by 2019.

Eleven products including cocoa, yam, shea-butter and pineapples have been selected under the strategy for immediate attention.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said beyond the establishment of the EXIM Bank, government is also looking forward to the support from other development partners including bilateral institutions to see which of them would be willing to support different aspects of the national export strategy.

“Discussions are ongoing with the African Development Bank, International Fund for Agriculture Development, the World Bank and many other development partners, so that between government’s own central funding, the EDAIF, the development partners would help us have enough funding to really push this agenda in the years ahead,” he said.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade is coordinating the participation of about 19 Ghanaian companies in the CIFIT.

Ghana is participating in the CIFIT fair for the second successive year with the aim to consolidate the gains made in the previous edition.

It is the third time Ghana has taken part in an international fair in China, having first participated in the Forest Product Fair in Yiwu.

Source: GNA

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