The Technical Advisor for Multilateral, Bilateral and Regional Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MoTI), Mr. Anthony Nyame-Baafi, has disclosed that the government of Ghana is pursuing a growth agenda for the economy that will be driven through foreign trade.
He made this disclosure as a panellist, speaking at the recent [email protected] National Trade Forum under the theme ‘Promoting trade between Ghana and the rest of the world’. According to Mr. Nyame-Baafi, “The intention of government is to make Ghana the manufacturing hub of Africa, so we got the comprehensive trade policy started in 2005 and in 2011 we introduced the Industrial Policy. But in 2017 it was realised that there is a need to beef-up especially the valued-added products.
“So from that year the ministry (MoTI) started to implement this industrial transformation agenda and, as stated in the minister’s speech, the first one is the One-District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative. Basically, it is to add value to the raw materials. Then we also realised that doing just these non-traditional exports may not achieve much, that is why under the Industrial Transformation agenda also we have these strategic anchor industries. The 10 areas are: automobile and the component assembly; pharmaceuticals; petrochemicals; industrial starch including cassava; and our industrial salt. We also have the aluminium and bauxite industry, iron and steel and machinery and equipment. We believe these can enhance production, both for local consumption and for export.”
According to Mr. Nyame-Baafi, implementing the strategy of positioning Ghana for growth through trade has already started bearing fruit – following the setting-up of factories by the likes of VW, which will be producing for both the internal market and also for export. To further strengthen Ghana’s position, government through the ministry “last year, launched the National Export Development Strategy, and so we are now in full gear to ensure that we enhance our exports to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA); to the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); then the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”. He added, “So currently we have even identified over 200 exporters who normally export into the African market, to see how we can help them improve on their exports”.
He revealed that the European Union is also supporting the ministry as part of the Accompanying Measures Strategy of the EPA so that exporters can improve their offerings. Following this, he stated: “We can say with confidence that from this year onward our exports are going to be enhanced”. Based on this, he declared that in the next 10 years Ghana’s export earning is going to shoot up to US$25.3billion.
“They are going to increase tremendously because of the 1D1F and strategic anchor initiatives. Moreover, under the industrial transformation we have also improved the business environment. We have put in place the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) for electronic clearance, and we are confident that we are now going to take advantage of those preferential markets to improve our exports and also create jobs for the teeming youth,” he said.
The [email protected] National Trade Forum is a thought-leadership platform on trade initiated by FBNBank Ghana as part of the activities commemorating the bank’s 25th anniversary. The first in the series featured five other panellists including Ambassador Diana Acconcia, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana; Ambassador Gambo Yusuf Hamza, acting Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana; Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries; Fechin Akoto, Officer-in-Charge, Trade and Tariff, Customs Division, Ghana Revenue Authority; and the host, Victor Yaw Asante, Managing Director, FBNBank Ghana; with George Wiafe of Multimedia Broadcasting as the Moderator.