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Export sector has the potential to drive Ghana's growth – GEPA CEO

Dr. Afua Asabea Asare Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority

Fri, 12 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority has reiterated the commitment of the government to the expansion and growth of the export sector.

Addressing guests at the launch of the second edition of the International Coconut Festival on Friday, August 12, 2022, Afua Asabea said that the tourism sector has an integral role to play in the development in the country hence the need for major investment in the sector.

She said that government has taken the initiative of initiating policies and measures that will culminate in the growth of the sector.

She, among other things, mentioned the implementation of the National Export Development Strategy as means of arriving at the objectives set by government.

“Over the last few years, we have embarked on various initiatives that are beginning to yield the needed results. As you may already be aware, we have since last year entered the implementation phase of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS). The goal of the NEDS is to generate at least US$25.3 billion by the year 2029.

“Although not an easy feat to achieve, GEPA is poised to do all it takes for this goal to be achieved. It is for this reason that we have been deepening our collaboration with all export sector stakeholders, both public and private. A few weeks ago, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Herbert Krapa inaugurated the NEDS Sector Committee and its sub-committees to aid in driving the implementation of the Strategy.

“The Coordinating Secretariat of the NEDS has been established at GEPA and has been working assiduously since 2021. In a few weeks’ time, the Steering Committee to oversee the Strategy’s implementation will also be inaugurated by the Minister,” she said.

Dr Afua Asabea however added that the effort of the government will yield no result if the government does not enjoy effective collaboration from the industry players.

She is therefore appealing to stakeholders in the export industry to join forces with government to move the sector from its current level to a higher one that increase government revenue and improve the gains by the stakeholders.

,”I am binging attention to these matters at this forum to drive home the fact that we will need all hands on deck to develop our export sector. The growth of the export sector holds the key to the rapid development of our country. The rapid development of emerging countries such as China and India are because of their export-oriented policies and programmes. We will succeed if we invest more in the export sector. Are we ready to do so?”, she said.

Highlighting the impact of the interventions by the Akufo-Addo administration, Dr Afua Asabea noted that the country witnessed 17% increase in revenue from Non-Traditional Export in 2021. This, she says is indicative of the huge potential of the sector which validates her call for investment in the sector.

“Data from our 2021 performance report on the Non-Traditional Export sector which GEPA launched a few weeks ago indicated an impressive 17% growth of US$3.330 billion over the 2020 revenue of US$2.846 billion with a contribution of 84.35% from the semi-processed and processed sector.

“Fresh coconut export amounted to US$1.44 million while its derivatives accounted for close to US$7 million. Although modest, it shows a lot of prospects for growth. If the right policies and interventions are deployed to support the sector, it has the potential to generate some US$2.8 billion in export revenue annually,” she said.

The second edition of the International Coconut Festival has been scheduled for September 20 to September 23, 2022.

Activities lined up to mark the event which is on the theme “Repositioning Ghana’s Coconut Sector for Accelerated Industrialization” include exhibitions of high and low-level technologies in the coconut industry, business seminars, financial support platforms, networking, talks, field visits, senior high and university level competition, colloquiums, among others.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com