Mr Albert Kasim Diwura , Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has said that Ghana could do more in the world space if it strategically takes advantage of the world demand for goods and services.
He said considering the world demand as against that of what Ghana produces especially in cocoa paste production then, Ghana was contributing to the world demand.
He said there was a huge demand globally, and opportunities available for Ghanaian exporters to feed in for the difference including; the ECOWAG market and the new markets of the Middle East and Eastern Europe as a huge export destinations.
Mr Diwura made the observation at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s (GIPC) forth CEO’s Breakfast Meeting of on the theme “Promoting trade and export financing to support Ghana’s industrialisation drive.”
He said as at 2018 there was a total global demand for goods and services of 19.7 trillion, which was against 17.8 trillion in 2017.
He said the GEPA was the mandated trade promotion organisation by government that facilitated and promoted Non-Traditional Export (NTE) trade, focus on product development before feeding into the world market, and developing the market and promoting made in Ghana goods, giving current market information, built capacity of exporters, and developing national export awareness.
He said over the period from January to December 2018 the NTEs that the GEPA produced amounted to 2.813 billion as against that of 2017, which was 2.556 billion, signifying 10 percent growth.
This he said was due to a 43.8 percent increase in export of cashew, resulting from the 10 year development programme from the cashew industry.
Non-traditional export trade was on the rise since 2014, and contributing a total amount of 19 percent of the total export trade of Ghana with processed foods contributing an amount of $2.2 billion, agriculture contributing an amount of $591 million and the handicrafts contributing about $12.87 million.
The bigger players include; the cocoa derivatives, the cashew, articles of plastics, canned tuna, and banana among others.
“Even though the processed sector contributed so much, compared to that of 2017, it actually maintained its 4.29 growth, but the agriculture products due to the cashew earnings went up by 34 percent and the handicrafts went up by 23. 65 percent.”
Mr Diwura said there were opportunities with a gap of over 3 trillion in the major NTE destination market. The European Union contributed about 1.145 billion, while the ECOWAS market contributed about 7.41 billion with other markets contributing about 722.580 million.
He said “in other for Ghana to take advantage of the non-traditional export and the opportunities that awaits us in the world space we must strategically position ourselves well, adhere to quality standards, take advantage of trade protocols, conduct extensive market research by actors in the export space, and focus on the implementation of the 10 year National Export Development Strategy.”
He mentioned that Ghana must also focus more on the ECOWAS market because it was the avenue for trading among African countries and for that matter the continental free trade area, saying that the 10 leading ECOWAS market include; Burkina Faso contributing over 238 million dollars, followed by Togo, Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Guinea and Liberia.
“These are the real market space to take advantage of, if we want to get into the world space. They are untapped opportunities, which we are doing either little of nothing about them, but if we focus more and invest more we would take advantage of.”
Mr Carl Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, GIPC said international trade and investments were important component of the development agenda as a country and it was imperative for information on opportunities and incentives available to be explained in detail and discussed among the investment community to boost the growth and development of the sector, hence the meeting.
He said the long term goal of the breakfast meeting series was to collate private sector views on important issues in the investment and trading space and provide feedback to government in support of policy formation.
This session he said was also a platform created by the GIPC to offer some clarity on the matter in collaboration with government agencies and relevant stakeholders and to solicit from investors their concerns and suggestions on the subject matter.