Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), says the performance of the Non-Traditional Export sector is likely to suffer this year because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Speaking at the 24th National Awards for Export Achievement, Mr Quarcoo said the viral disease had hampered GEPA?s promotional efforts of Made-in-Ghana products within the countries in the sub-region.
?Ghana had to cancel her participation in trade fairs in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Cote d?Ivoire, and without doubt this will impact the NTE Results for 2014,?he said.
In 2013, the ECOWAS sub-region came top as the major destination for NTEs, overtaking the European Union.
Data showed that the EU received 31.55 percent of total exports in 2013 while the West African region received 34.83 per cent of exports.
Mr Quarcoo said in line with its mandate, GEPA supported the exporter community with export development and promotion activities, including participation in fairs in Europe, Asia and Africa to expand Ghana?s presence in those markets.
?Through this activity, new markets like China and Japan have embraced our products. It is also helping us to expand our share of markets in the ECOWAS sub-region,? he said
On training and capacity building, Mr Quarcoo said GEPA undertook the training of 170 exporters, producers and representatives of export facilitation institutions to improve the activities and services of exporters and trade related organisations.
He said in line with GEPA?s strategic objective of creating the necessary awareness of the services sector, GEPA had embarked on a series of national sensitization programmes on professional services? export and its impact on economic growth and the prospects available to the service practitioner.
In this direction, 120 participants from both public and private sectors attended national sensitisation programmes to create awareness of the Professional Services Sector.
On the implementation of the National Export Strategy, Mr Quarcoo said the Ministry of Trade and GEPA were working to complete preparation of the work plan for effective implementation of the strategy in this last quarter of 2014.
Mr Quarcoo gave due credit to the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund for increased support and expansion of credit facilities to national stimulus programme, exporters and export facilitating institutions for their activities.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Kobina Ade- Coker, said the awards represented the continuous effort of the export community in developing and promoting Ghana?s export trade for economic development.
Categories of Award winners included Special Honorary, Gold, Platinum, silver, Most Diversified Exporter, Export Services, Woman Exporter of the year and Exporter of the year.
Ghana News Agency picked up an award for export services through export trade publicity and the Chinese Embassy in Ghana was recognised for Trade Promotion.
Niche Cocoa Industry Limited was adjudged the Exporter of the Year while Mrs Margaret Tweneboa-Boateng, of Excel Industries Limited, Producer of Aluminium Household utensils won the Woman Exporter of the Year Award.
The event was on the theme: “Celebrating Exports Excellence.”