GEPA sensitises businesses about online international trade

In an effort to expand the market scope and opportunities for exporters of non-traditional products to the international community, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has organised sensitisation training for business operators in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The one-day workshop was aimed at educating businesses about the nitty-gritties of an interactive website dubbed ‘GEPA Market Hub’, and how to leverage it for growth. The market portal is a unique one-stop shop with resources and information on international trade.

GEPA, as part of its programmes to find markets for Ghanaian products and develop and promote the growth of non-traditional exports (NTEs), collaborated with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to develop the market portal that was launched somewhere in December 2017. It is meant to be useful for the export ecosystem, especially in finding buyers for domestic goods.

The CEO of GEPA, Afua Asabea Asare – in a speech read for her by the Ashanti /Brong Ahafo Regional Officer of GEPA, Adjei Yeboah, said the inability of Ghanaian businesses to easily access international buyers has been a daunting obstacle, hence introduction of the Market Hub to break that barrier.

She expressed optimism that introduction of the Hub coupled with other interventions, such as international market access, trade fairs and exhibitions, export training and capacity building among others, will help increase NTEs earnings significantly. NTEs in 2017, she noted, generated US$2.6billion foreign exchange earnings, representing a growth of 2.5%. NTEs also contributed 18.4% to the total national export of US$13.9billion in that year.

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“With GEPA’s intention of making it the best platform for sourcing integrated export and business data in Ghana and beyond, it has become imperative to demonstrate the practical usage of the Hub to enable our stakeholders navigate it with ease,” Madam Asabea Asare stressed.

The Manager of GEPA Market Hub, Abdallah Banda who walked the participants through the portal, said after barely a year of existence the Market Hub was adjudged the ‘Best User of Information Technology’ in the world by the International Trade Centre (ITC) during the last meeting of global Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) in France.

He indicated that averagely 11,000 people visit the Market Hub every month, and urged businesses – particularly agro processors – to take advantage of it in order to tap into the yawning international market.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Trade and Industry Officer, Prince Annor Baah, in his welcome address observed that with implementation of the 1D1F industrialisation policy of government, the potential for the country to scale-up goods production is closer to realisation and therefore exploring external markets is very critical.

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