Exporters Must Build Capacity To Remain Competitive — GEPA

QUARCOOBuilding the skills and capacities of exporters is very critical if the country’s goal of increasing export returns is to be achieved, Mr. Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has said.

He said exporters needed to be schooled on recent trends and changes in the export market in order to remain competitive and also help the country to grow its export base.

Mr. Quarcoo was speaking in Accra yesterday at the opening of the 2014 training course for exporters.

The four-day training course which is being organised by GEPA’s Ghana Export School seeks to build the capacity of the exporters.

Topics being treated at the course include Export Marketing Research, Product Planning and Product Adaptation, Legal Contracts and Negotiations, Sanitary and Photosanitary Specification, Export Procedures and Documentation, among others.

He said the country had set a target of increasing its share of Non-Traditional Exports to $ 5 billion by the year 2017.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that the National Export Strategy to diversify Ghana’s exports by increasing the share of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in the export base is achieved,” he said.

Mr. Quarcoo said the strategy, would among other things, build the capacity of the GEPA and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to diversify exports and increase Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs).

“The strategy would put Ghana on the global map as a world-class exporter of competitive products and services to promote sustainable environmental development and improve the balance in spatial and regional development,” he said.

Mr. Quarcoo said the policy would also strengthen and resource export-related institutions to ensure every district obtains at least one significant commercial viable agro-based export product.

Throwing more light on the mandate of the GEPA, he said it is the National Export Trade Support Institution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) responsible for the facilitation, development and promotion of Ghanaian exports.

GEPA was established by Act 396 in 1969 as an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the mandate to develop and promote Ghanaian exports. The focus has primarily been to diversify Ghana’s export base from the traditional gold and other unprocessed minerals, cocoa beans, timber logs and lumber.

Currently, there are over 383 different Non-Traditional Export products categorised as agricultural, processed/semi processed and handicrafts. Export trade in services is a new and recent addition to the non-traditional export portfolio.

Mr. Maxwell Osei-Kusi, Head of Research and Information, GEPA who made a presentation on Export Marketing Research urged exporters to continue to conduct research on exports and the dynamic markets in which they operate.

“Tariffs and non-tariff barriers are hitting exporters hence the need for more research and information on research,” he said. By David Adadevoh

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