NES Agenda Steering C’ttee inaugurated

DSC_0142A 14-MEMBER steering committee has been inaugurated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to propel the agenda of the National Exports Strategy (NES).

The committee is mandated to ensure the implementation of a five-year strategic programme under the National Export Development Programme (NEDP), which has identified 11 products and services for export promotion.

It is chaired by the sector minister, Mr. Ekow Spio-Gabrah, with representatives of stakeholder institutions including the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Ministry of Finance and MoTI as members.

Speaking at the inauguration in Accra yesterday, Mr. Spio-Gabrah said government had begun talks with the European Union to get its share of a six billion Euros beneficiary fund under the Economic Partnership Agreement signed between West African countries and the EU.

He said though some West African countries had not signed the agreement to make the fund accessible to all member states, government has urged the union to reconsider its decision and release the fund to those who had signed to encourage others to sign.

The fund, he said, would become a source of financing for export promotion and enhance local businesses when received by government.

Mr. Spio-Gabrah said, NES was launched at Tamale in 2013 to generate five billion dollars in a five-year period through the export of non-traditional goods and services.

The NES he said, was focused on removing impediments and reducing risks and cost in doing business in the country, while enhancing the capacities of institutions to boost exports.

“As we are aware, the country has a trade deficit thus we import more than we export, therefore this programme has been designed to change the trend by increasing the country’s trade income”, he said.

He said government has, under the programme, identified 11 products and services including cocoa, fish, shea, yam, fish, fruits, vegetables, horticulture, export services, and handicrafts for special support.

According to him the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), had been chosen as the state agency to lead the implementation by which the committee would collaboratively work with the agency to enhance the export industry as required by law.

Mr. Spio-Gabrah urged the GEPA to adopt a work-plan that would align their objectives to correlate with the programme.

He was optimistic that discussions with the International Monetary Fund and the EU as well as technical assistance from the World Bank, would enhance the programme.

By Charles Amankwa and Jennifer Apprey   

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