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Ecobank Ghana to extend support to local exporters

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Ecobank
Ecobank

Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Abena Osei-Poku has assured exporters in Ghana of the bank’s full support to enable them take advantage of the huge opportunities across Africa and the rest of the world.

She was speaking at a special capacity-building event dubbed Ecobank Export Forum, where the bank congregated several local exporters to educate about the funding opportunities at the bank and how the bank can also assist them to navigate regulatory hurdles in various countries.

The maiden Ecobank Export Forum, which wad in collaboration with Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) also discussed ways by which Ecobank and GEPA could improve and provide further support to promote export business in Ghana.

Abena Osei-Poku noted that the export sector has been the backbone of Ghana’s economy, due to the important role it plays in contributing to the country’s prosperity, stability, and security.

She said the sector supports many Ghanaian households and sustains livelihoods through job creation across various sectors of the economy, adding that foreign currency proceeds from export businesses also remain critical for the country’s trade balance and balance of payment positions.

The Ecobank Ghana MD observed that despite the immense potential of the export sector, Ghanaian exporters, whether within the traditional or non-traditional sectors, have over the years faced various challenges, including limited access to finance, which then affects their ability to scale and increase production capacity, inadequate collateral, stringent international trade restrictions, limited access to innovative technology, among others.

Notwithstanding these challenges, she said, export businesses in Ghana continue to work with determination and perseverance to make positive impact on the national economy.

“Ghana ended 2022 with some US$20 billion in export revenue, mainly to the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, United States, India, and China. Conspicuously missing from this list of the main export destinations is export within the continent of Africa.

According to her, the impact that export businesses make on the economy is so enormous that Ecobank sees it as an obligation to make its various products and services, as well as  technology platforms available to support and further boost the businesses of exporters.

“Our aim at this forum therefore is to dialogue with you to enable us better understand your true needs and expectations, so we can serve you better. Let us use this platform to build mutually beneficial business relationships, and also to support the national economy,” she said.

She said Ecobank is committed to providing solutions, which will enhance and enable scalability of export businesses and equip exporters to take advantage of the numerous opportunities around the world, particularly in the area of building the capacities of exporters to meet increasing demands and compete favourably in the global marketplace.

“As the global dynamics of trade, in general and exports in particular, continue to shift, Ecobank is committed to working with you, Ghanaian exporters, to build and expand your operations across the continent of Africa, as well. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents huge opportunities for Ghanaian exporters…Ecobank Ghana is strategically positioned to be the bank of choice, with an array of products and services which are, convenient, reliable, and accessible to support exporters across the continent,” she said.

She therefore urged all Ghanaian exporters to sign onto the Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub, which is a one single platform where exporters can connect with other businesses in one big African market with access to some 1.4 billion people

Head of Services and Manufactures at GEPA, Banda Abdallah Z. Khalifa noted that currently, non-traditional exports in Ghana is worth US$3.5 billion with ECOWAS being the biggest market for Ghana and the EU being second largest market.

According to him, cocoa derivatives like cocoa liquor, creams and others are the biggest earners for Ghana among the non-traditional export, accounting for about SU$1 billion.

He said currently Ghana is not in the position to meet some levels of demands, so GEPA adopted a number of strategies like capacity building for exporters, facilitating business to business (B2B) meetings and also paying for exhibition space for Ghanaians exporters at events abroad to create opportunities for them to expand.

Banda Khalifa is confident that AfCFTA will open up other African markets to Ghana, and with the support of institutions like Ecobank Ghana, exporters in the country will be able to move cargo timeously and meet demands.

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