EU’s changing market standards worry local exporters

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European Union (EU) market

The consistent change of requirements and standards of the European Union (EU) market keep posing challenges and threatening competitiveness of local exporters, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, has indicated.

Dr. Asare said her interaction with local exporters has shown a major problem they have is regular changes in standards of EU export market segments, coupled with exporters’ insufficient knowledge of the bloc and other external markets.

Speaking at the West African Competitiveness Programme’s (WACOMP) Cluster International Conference in Accra, Dr. Asare explained that her outfit has moved to provide a solution to this challenge through regular and specific training about the EU market to Ghanaian exporters by using the authority’s market hub.

“We share insights and analyses of the various products and market destinations at the hub. The content we provide is aimed at strengthening and supporting intermediate organisations and creating better linkages among value chain actors, so as to better understand requirements of the EU and other markets,” she said.

GEPA, she said, has been committed to increasing and strengthening Ghana’s export competitiveness, and WACOMP provides a stronger opportunity to further achieve an agenda that aligns with the country’s export development strategy.

“Pillar-One of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) – which is to support initiatives aimed at increasing productivity of the export sector – is in tandem with the WACOMP that aims at ensuring competitiveness of value chains’ local exports; improving the quality of products and services; and integrating them into regional and global value chains to enable exporters compete favourably in the global space,” she added.

Head of WACOMP-ECOWAS, Dr. Christian Kafando, said the programme will continue to enhance the private sector’s export capacity in West Africa, and enhance competitiveness through production and consolidation to meet global standards.

He said the Cluster Conference was an opportunity to contribute in knowledge-sharing, networking and sharpening collaborations among exporters in the region – with a focus on the private sector.

About the WACOMP

The West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), funded by the European Union, aims to support several selected value chains at the national and regional level so as to promote structural transformation and better access to regional and international markets while taking into account social and environmental concerns.

The Programme was adopted under the 11th European Union Development Fund (EDF) Regional Indicative Programme for a total amount of €120million.

The programme’s major objectives are to strengthen the competitiveness of West African countries and also enhance their integration into the regional and international trading system. To reach this overarching goal, the programme seeks to improve performance, growth and contribution to industry, regional trade and exports of selected value chains, and improve the general business climate.

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