The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has begun the process to formulate a new National Export Development Strategy to enhance Ghana’s effective participation in the multilateral trading system.
It is also to enable the country to take maximum advantage of market opportunities in the short, medium and long terms.
Addressing participants at the opening session of a national workshop to formulate the strategy, Ms Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the design of the new export strategy followed the expiry of the existing National Export Strategy (NES), which was formulated and launched in 2012 for implementation within a five-year period.
She said there was, therefore, the need to formulate a new strategy within the context of Government’s industrial transformation agenda based on the 1D1F and other laudable initiatives.
Ms Asare expressed concern about the near stagnation in Non-Traditional Export revenues around $2.53 billion over the last few years although the potential for massive increases in the numbers do exist.
“For this reason, therefore, we must all rethink our strategy going forward so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past five years,” she said.
Fortunately, Government has boldly declared its intention to transform Ghana’s economy from a raw material exporting one to a high value-added industrialized economy through its industrial transformation agenda anchored on the 1D1 F and other closely-related programmes, she said.
GEPA as the foremost trade promotion agency of Government, is poised to continue to perform its expected role by building the capacity of Ghanaian exporters to compete favourably in the market and rake in the necessary export revenues for economic development.
It is in this direction that a number of programmes and activities had been lined up in 2019 and beyond, whose implementation will no doubt enhance further our trade with the rest of the world.
These activities include the development of one exportable product in all districts of Ghana to provide the required raw and semi-processed materials to feed the factories which are being set up in every district of the country.
Plans are also advanced to implement three important programmes, the Innovative Design Week which will identify, develop and showcase new designs from export-oriented companies to stress the importance of good packaging and labelling.
Also, the Innovative Mentorship Export Oriented Programme, which will be implemented with institutions such as the NBSSI and the Universities; and the Women in Export Road Shows which aims at empowering women entrepreneurs to grow their export businesses through strategic interventions in their companies.
She said GEPA is also exploring the possibility of opening a GEPA Shop at the ultra-modern Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport to display a wide variety of quality made-in-Ghana products to serve international travellers and business persons who pass through the airport.
In the medium term, we seek also to operate made-in-Ghana shops ‘in some of our strategic external markets with a view to promoting the Ghana Quality Brand.
We are also collaborating with our key external partner the International Trade Centre with a view to transforming our flagship Ghana Export School programme into a truly Regional certificate-awarding Trade Training and Export Knowledge Institute, to serve the needs of the West African sub Region and beyond. We hope to achieve this before the end of this year.
Meanwhile, GEPA is to roll out a series of activities to mark its 50th anniversary this year, having been established in 1969.
The anniversary would be climaxed in September 2019 with the main 50th Anniversary event, including the organization of the President’s Awards for Export Achievement.
Mr Theodore K. Markam, a technical expert said there is the need to integrate the export strategy with the government’s industrialization agenda and other export-oriented policies.