Resource persons at the forum

Government has declared its intention to transform Ghana’s economy from a raw material exporting one to a high valued-added industrialized economy through its industrial transformation agenda.

The development of the new National Export Strategy which spearheaded by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority is expected to draw viable strategies to fall within the context of the National Industrial Transformation Agenda.

It obvious that, the major driver of the economic growth in any nation is the volume of its exports.

However, Ghana’s Economy has unfortunately benefited less than it potentially can in this area especially with regards to the gains in the export of the Non –Traditional Exports (NTE).

This can be mainly attributed to the overreliance on export of raw materials, lack of value addition to the raw materials and the apparent neglect or low levels of export of these NTEs because of challenges facing the exporters.

It is in this regard, shipping and logistics service providers are working closely with exporters to help find ways of resolving challenges in export trade.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority , Ms.Sylvia Asana Dauda-Owu, who spoke on behalf of the CEO, this known at export forum themed: “The Critical Role of transportation and logistics in the export value chain.”

It must ne duly noted that and acknowledged that recently, an appreciable surge in export trade volume was recorded. In 2o18, cargo, throughput increased by approximately 8.0% compared to 2o17.

The total export trade volume for 2018 was 7.66 million mt. which represents an increase of 24.6% from the previous years. While these figures agree that there is certainly more room for improvement,” she disclosed.

Key to the Authority’s functions is the negotiations of the freights rates and services standards of shipping service providers.

This she said, in the area of infrastructure, the Authority has projects such as warehouse in Tema and others at various stages of development intended to aid the facilitation of transport logistics in both the export and import value chain.

“The Boankra Inland Port for example, will link the ports of Tema and Takoradi to the inner parts of the country and to our neighbouring landlocked countries,” she said.

Adding that, the Takoradi Logistics Platform Company is expected to deliver warehousing and other related services to companies engaged in developing the oil and gas trade in the Western Region.

Stressing that, the Authority remains committed to ensuring that shippers are able to trade competitively on the international market such negotiations.

However, exporters also expressed worry about the numerous challenges they encounter while plying their trade ;issues ranging from high freight rates , poor handling of cargo by handlers , rejection of cargo due to poor labelling and packaging , poor road networks , long transit time and infrastructure among other.

More so, some vegetable and fruits exporters in Ghana said they have folded up their businesses because of the undue delays by staff of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD).

A Senior Agriculture Officer at the Plant Protection And Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD),Mr William Lamptey, reacting to the concerns raised by the exporters, said the Directorate has logistical challenges and lack of funding for research work.

However, it has no intention of collapsing businesses and would take proactive measures to address the concerns raised by the exporters.

This he said, the Directorate served as a regulatory and trade facilitator and was supposed to conduct field inspection, laboratory and incubation as well as phytosanitary inspection and certification at the entry and exit points.

According to him, over the years, it has discharged its mandate creditably and would continue to improve upon its services with the requisite equipment and logistics.

Mr Lamptey said in view of the ban placed on Ghana’s vegetables by the European Union in 2015, the Directorate was being extra cautious to avoid another ban.

Hence, the intensification of efforts to ensure that all the vegetables and perishable goods that left the shores of Ghana were wholesome and free from any pest infestation.

The forum attracted representatives from the National Association of Handicraft Exporters, Kokomba Yam Farmers and Exporters Association, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Airport Company, Greater Accra Art and Craft Dealers Association, National Insurance Commission, DHL Express among others participated in the one-day forum.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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