Exporters forum held to mitigate challenges in export sector

The high cost of doing business in the country’s ports remains one of the biggest disincentives to the growth of the export sector within the supply chain.

Also unauthorised and indiscriminate charges by some shipping service providers as well as cumbersome cargo clearance procedures had over the years contributed to the higher cost of doing business in the ports and the entry borders of the country.

Ms Benonita Bismarck, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority at the maiden exporter’s forum at Takoradi, added that the multiplicity of inspection by various government agencies, arduous process in obtaining licenses and permits from statutory bodies still restrained exporters from meeting turnaround times, throughout the year and ultimately affecting profitability and customer relations.

The exporters forum under the theme, ‘Addressing the challenges of exporters; the role of the stakeholders’, brought industry players from private and public sector to deliberate and find solutions to the myriad of problems facing the sector and how best they could be mitigated to enable the sector contribute meaningfully to the socioeconomic growth of the country.

She said the economic growth of every country was very crucial to its national development and said the introduction of the Export Promotion Strategy was critical to accelerating growth and development in order to improve upon the quality of lives of the citizenry.

The CEO noted that the exporters forum would commence the process stakeholders in the export supply chain would meet regularly to discuss the challenges and  problems  enumerated in order to find quick solutions to them and also facilitate export especially through the Port of Takoradi.

She mentioned that the Shipper’s Authority had therefore intensified its collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority for effective collaboration.

The CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Madam Afua Asabea Asare noted how incumbent it had become for the government agencies to strive to always respond to the challenges faced by the exporters in the activities.

“The Western Region used to be one of the main hubs in export activities but unfortunately, the contribution of export revenues had dwindled considerably… In 2017, only 12 companies exported from the region while only 10 companies did same in 2018,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Authority had developed and was building capacities of exporters to enable them to become more competitive in the international market.

Mr Charles Darling Sey, Regional Manager of the Ghana Shipper’s Authority commended stakeholders for availing themselves for the exercise meant to address problems such as rent charges, poor services, haulage charges, wrong code, arrival times, dock gang inefficiency and Forestry Commission harassment among others.

He said, “The challenges are multifaceted and require multi agency approach to address some of these challenges.”

Mr Peter Amoo-Bediako, the Manager of the Public Affairs and Marketing at the Takoradi Port, encouraged exporters and all stakeholders in the export value chain to as a matter of importance know and value their roles in the chain in order to maximise benefits associated with shipping as they worked to improve the sector. GNA

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