Ghana Export Promotion Authority To Sustain Growth

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is determined to sustain its key trade facilitation programmes to assist the private sector drive the anticipated increase in non-traditional export (NTE) revenue this year. According to the Director of Audit at the GEPA, Mr Stephen Normeshie, although the export sector continue to be driven by value added products such as cocoa and timber, the full potential of these value added products has not been realised due to minimal investments in the sector. "Thus, imports into the country have far outweighed what we export, thereby creating wealth for foreign investors", Mr Normeshie lamented in an interview with the Daily Graphic. "It is in this light that we would appreciate an increase in the authority's funding budget by government to adequately support the private sector to increase growth", he added. Earnings Mr Normeshie told the Daily Graphic that although there was a drop of 2.43 per cent in the target set for 2012, the target for 2013 of $3.3 billion was achievable. Commenting on the authority's performance for the 2013 fiscal year, he indicated that the provisional NTE earning for the half year period depicted a growth of 12 per cent. That, he said, was an increase over that of 2012. The GEPA, he said, in 2013 alone coordinated the participation of 25 export companies in three international trade fairs in Ambiente, Germany, Biofach Fair- Germany, Africa Fair- Japan, and Izmir International Trade Fair (IZFAS) in Turkey. "Confirmed export orders worth $390,000 were obtained for handicrafts during the Ambiente fair", Mr Normeshie stated. The prospects showed for agricultural and manufactured products exhibited during the Biofach, African and Izmir fair respectively have energized us to conduct aggressive market surveillance and follow up to secure order for exporters", he intimated. Market Promotions The Director of Market Promotions at the GEPA, Mr Alex Dadzawa for his part said that the Authority has participated in a bilateral business forum in Benin, "and during the period of the forum, Made in Ghana goods were exhibited as part of processes to create goodwill for Ghanaian products in that country". "The GEPA also collaborated with the Ghana China Friendship Association (GHACHIFA) to organize Ghana’s participation in the Yiwu Forestry Products Fair in China in 2013 where 16 Ghanaian companies participated", Mr Dadzawa added. Capacity building The authority according to Mr Dadzawa, trained a total of 274 personnel from export companies and trade support institutions. Participants, he said were taken through export marketing fundamentals, commercial representation abroad, market research and analysis among others. Similar programmes were run for the staffs and management of the Authority under a GEPA-CBI partnership. Business Development and Foreign Direct Investments Mr Dadzawa further indicated that the GEPA has facilitated the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) and a Turkish firm, Afrimeks Foreign Trade Limited based in Izmir. Under the MOU, Afrimeks would act as broker to attract buyers for CPC products in Turkey. "Following the GEPA's facilitation of complementary attraction of Foreign Direct Investments from Turkey into Ghana in collaboration with Afrimeks, three Turkish companies that operate in the area of manufacturing of fertilizer and PVC profile, and construction services have registered their businesses in Ghana", Mr Dadzawa said. Another major Turkish construction firm, ErenPort with specialisation in construction of airport terminal buildings is pursing MOU from government to raise money to work alongside a Brazilian construction firm to further expand the Tamale Airport into international status. Mr Dadzawa is hopeful the 2014 outlook would present a better opportunity for the GEPA business development strategy aimed to ensure growth within the non-traditional export sector.