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Monday, May 27, 2024

Only Half Of 3000 Export Companies In Ghana Engage In Significant Trading– Deputy Trade Minister

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Report By Bernard K DADZIE
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa has disclosed that only half of 3000 export companies in Ghana engage in significant trading, with the other half, finding respite in sporadic exports annually.
According to him, this has to change.
“Why must seventy present 70% of our total non-traditional exports revenues be generated by only a few companies?  Our Export Expansion Programme is expected to assist an initial 200 private firms in enhancing their productive capacity for export in a competitive African market.”
To the minister, Ghana is implementing a National Export Development Strategy with an ambitious target of increasing non-traditional export revenues to 25billion United States Dollars by 2029. That have identified 17 priority products for export under this Strategy, ranging from automobiles and vehicles, industrial salt and starch, sugar and processed oil seeds, to aluminium, iron and steel and pharmaceutical products.
“Two months ago, Ghana Export Promotion Authority announced a 3.3 billion United States Dollars increase in non-traditional export earnings for 2021, and I look forward to tracking the further astronomical increase in these revenues after the setting up of ETCs in Ghana. Three weeks ago, we launched the National Action Plan and Policy Framework for Boosting Ghana’s Trade with Africa to expedite meaningful implementation.”
He explained that the Plan will support the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle to improve the production and marketing of goods and services under AfCFTA, and provide alternative financing and intermediation between exporters and banks.
The minister believes it will also strengthen Export Finance Institutions to deliver tailor-made services to support export under AfCFTA while facilitating the establishment of a national version of the African Customer Due Diligence (MANSA) Repository Platform to register exporters.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Herbert Krapa, who was speaking at Seminar on Export Trading Companies (ETCs) organized by Afreximbank and the Ministry of Trade and Industry held at Movenpick Hotel in Accra, hinted that the number of SME trade finance applications rejected by banks increased sadly from 20% in 2013 to 40% in 2019, and they are determined to do everything possible to reverse this unacceptable cycle.
He said the Action Plan is also expected to support the establishment of Export Trade Houses across Africa, and the timing of this Seminar here in Accra, what I understand is the third in the series, after South Africa and Kenya, is indeed significant.
To him, the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area is of particular importance to our government in many ways. Adding that President Akufo-Addo sees the implementation, and the participation of Ghanaian businesses as an essential element of the government’s vision of creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and strengthening our institutions.
Mr. Herbert Krapa indicated that Government’s pursuit of an aggressive industrial transformation agenda in the last six years has been at the core of this vision. The world economy today is on its knees. People everywhere are feeling the harsh effect of COVID, conflict and climate, and we in Africa, find ourselves on the wrong side of a catastrophe we had nothing to do with.
“Building self-reliant economies with the capacity to finance our development agenda, is as inevitable today as it should have always been. We are home to 65% of the world’s remaining arable land and 40% of the world’s mineral reserves, yet our share of global trade remains at 3%. We cannot achieve inclusive economic growth without industrialisation, and we must take advantage of initiatives such as this, to build partnerships among our ranks for effective trading.”
In conclusion, he urged all government institutions, exporters, financing firms, manufacturers, SMEs and everyone else in the export ecosystem, to take very seriously the lessons of this Seminar, and it should energize us to set up Ghanaian owned or partnered Export Trading Companies both domestically and across Africa.
For his part, the head of Trade Facilitation and Intra-African Trade Fair Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe said the Afreximbank is going to work with trade industry to create a value that will take those big products to the market in Africa as well as abroad.
“We are going to support those smaller farmers. When they produce their products we ask them where are the best markets, where they can get the best model, the best bang for their product. That’s basically in a nutshell, one of the exporters in common is initiating is all about.
“Each will help to catalyze industrialization. We are sick and tired of producing rall commodities and exports to outside the continent. We are actually exporting jobs and income. We are exporting to development. We are basically saying enough is enough. We need to take the destiny of the continent into our own hands.”
According to the head of Intra-African Trade Bank, Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe, the seminar  can effectively support small and medium enterprises, smallholder farmers and informal cross-border traders to participate in and benefit from regional trade.
The ETC seminar is part of a organized to sensitize African countries about the unique role of export trading companies in diversifying African exports and promoting industrialisation in the African continent.
The seminar however, afford participants the opportunity to discussed the role of ETCs in facilitating Intra-African trade under the African continent free area as well as trade outside Africa and how ETCs are organized, operated, supported and regulated by government and other agencies.
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