Trade Ministry advocates collaboration among stakeholders to boost economy

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, has called for a strong collaboration between the ministry and other stakeholders in the export industry to promote and boost the economy.

According to him, this would strengthen government’s agenda on One District, One Factory and promote agribusiness in the country.

He urged the stakeholders; namely the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Exim Bank, Ghana Free Zones Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority and the private sector to work hand in hand to promote the sector.

Mr Krapa made the call at the Ghana Exim Bank’s stakeholders forum which had the theme, “Facilitating International Trade: the role of GEXIM” in Accra yesterday. 

The Deputy Minister said government had developed a blueprint for a sustained increase in non-traditional exports, hence it needed all hands on deck to sustain the gains.

He said the National Export Development Strategy when fully implemented, would facilitate a significant increase in exports to other continent adding that, “it will increase non-traditional export revenue from the current 2.9 billion United States dollars to 25 billion United States dollars by 2029.”

MrKrapa said export development remained core in government’s agenda in developing the country saying; “the National Export Development Strategy provides us a golden opportunity to finally get it right.

“Ghana Exim is appropriately placed to provide innovative and sustainable trade finance solutions to our exporters.”

He said export finance assistance had become crucial in times of recovery; therefore there was the need to deliberate on enhancing the productive capacity of exporters.

“We should collaborate going forward; we must consult and involve the private sector in making policy decisions that affect them directly; remain confident in our own abilities to come out of the ravages of the pandemic, stronger,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Exim Bank, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, said international trade has contributed immensely to the development of the country in the area of employment, revenue generation and foreign exchange.

“For nearly two decades, Ghana has recorded trade balance deficit average of approximately $2.5 billion dollars except 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020,” he said.

He said the country recorded trade surplus of $1.18 billion, $1.81 billion, $2.25 billion and $2.04 billion in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Mr Agyinsam said the top five non-traditional export products exported in 2020 were cocoa butter, cocoa paste, canned tuna, refined palm oil and natural rubber sheets.

Ms Judith Aikins, manager of Export Trade Department, appealed to government to provide a dedicated airline with no air freight charges for vegetable producers.

That, she said would assist them to export on time and promote vegetable exportation.

She said government should ensure that foreigners do not buy directly from farmers but a channel must be created to avoid competition with the local people.

BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG

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