GEPA poised to meet its US$5.3billion target

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority has said that it is poised to meet its 2021 target for non-traditional exports pegged at US$5.3billion.

Its CEO, Ms. Asabea Asare said: “It is not going to be easy to double earnings in the next three years, but GEPA is putting in place interventions to meet the target within the said period,” she stated.

Speaking at the maiden Ghana-Slovenia business summit, Ms. Asabea Asare said the Slovene investors coming on board will help expand the country’s export margins.

“They are not here to help us. They are here because we were there. We are helping each other; we are looking at where we can mutually collaborate to work. We projected Ghana highly to them and they are here to see what we have in Ghana,” she added.

The business summit was organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Slovenia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The delegation of Slovenian investors is in the country to explore investment opportunities, discuss ways of assisting Ghanaian firms with the latest trends and technologies, and showcase new products and services in specific sectors.

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Slovenia is the third-fastest developing economy in the European Union and has committed to setting Ghana aside as a special trade partner in the coming months.

Dobran Bozic, State Secretary for the Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the decision to explore investment opportunities in Ghana is a strategic one.

“This is an opportunity for Ghana to be one of the leading nations on the continent for green energy. The stable political landscape and sound macroeconomic fundamentals are enough for investments and we are confident of mutual benefit,” he added.

“The Slovenian business delegation is also willing to explore various sectors of our economy such as the pharmaceutical and sanitation sectors, but so far they have told me they are very much interested in cocoa, cocoa derivatives and cashew; and so, we hope to see how the business engagements will yield the needed economic margins in these areas,” Ms Asare stated.

GEPA has developed a 10-year development plan for cashew production, which includes value addition. There is also a programme to introduce a pilot mass spraying and distribution of grafted cashew seedlings to farmers at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region.

GEPA has also undertaken extensive consultations with all metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to identify at least one crop from each district to be developed for export, in line with government’s industrialisation agenda.

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Ms. Asabea Asare said all the interventions done are expected to boost revenues in the next few years and enable GEPA to meet the target. Earnings from NTEs amounted to US$2.6billion in 2017, representing an increase of 3.81 percent over US$2.5billion in 2016.

The NTEs currently contribute 18.37 percent to the country’s total national merchandise exports.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kyerematen, is also of the firm conviction that this visit by the Slovenian business delegation will strengthen the relationship that has been established between Slovenia and Ghana, and also provide further prospects for a more effective future engagement in the industry.

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