‘GEPA to begin implementation of National Export Strategy in 2020’

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will begin the implementation of the ten-year National Export Development Strategy next year, once the document is approved.

 The document, which has been completed by GEPA, is awaiting approval of the Minister of Trade and Industry and Cabinet.

Addressing stakeholders at the 79th Exporters Forum on Thursday, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the key target of the Strategy is to achieve a Non-Traditional Export Revenue of at least US$10 billion by the end of the Strategy’s implementation period in 2028.

Dr Asare said GEPA had been able to embark on some strategic interventions geared towards ensuring that the Authority was aligned towards expanding the country’s export revenue base, especially with the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The initiatives include training programmes in financing and trade sustainability for micro, small and medium enterprises, providing exposure to 160 exporters in about 15 international exhibitions and provision of approximately 20million suckers of pineapple to farmers with expected returns within a period.

There is also a provision of 220,000 grafted cashew seedlings developed under the National Cashew Development Initiative and Cashew Industry Association of Ghana (CIAG), and have been given to cashew farmers to encourage cultivation of healthy and quality crops.

“We will have to be ready – we have to ensure our people can understand and appreciate the importance of AfCFTA and its relevance to them on a social and economic level,” Dr Asabea said. “We have to be ready. The greatest threat to any initiative is to believe that someone else will drive it and make it run. We have to make our exporters ready for the opportunities when they come knocking,” she added.

On his part, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the exporters and other stakeholders on the various roles they play.

He said the government was committed to diversifying and broadening the country’s exports so as to provide a solid base for foreign exchange earnings. Government’s desire to reinforce the need for structural transformation and value addition to products with the view to earning more foreign exchange. —-GNA

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