Trade and Industry Minister-designate, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng, has said Government is employing strategies aimed at increasing the exportation of goods produced locally as against the inverse.
At his vetting on February 26, 2021, Mr. Kyeremateng told Parliament’s Appointments Committee that the Ministry is working with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority to “put export at the centre of our national development agenda.”
His comments came at the back of reports that suggest that Ghana’s import bill exceeds US$10 billion annually, incurring a negative trade balance. In other words, Ghana imports more than she exports.
For instance it is reported that commodities such as rice, sugar and poultry which are produced in the country are imported at a cost of 1 billion dollars yearly.
Addressing the issues, the Minister-designate said the trade balance can be improved upon if exports are increased and imports reduced.
As such, he noted that the government has adopted measures to improve upon the negative trade balance through export.
He said “Industrial interventions that are currently ongoing including the new strategic anchor industries; 10 of them are pillars of growth we are promoting to deversify the economy away from cocoa and gold.”
“This in addition to the one-district-one-factory, our business resource centres and industrial enclave initiatives are designed to increase exports in our country. This is how you reverse the negative trade balance.”
Meanwhile, to achieve the goal of producing standard goods for export and to compete with the imported ones, the Minister-designate said a national office under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) has been established with the aim of “Implementing a national programme of action specifically targeting companies that can produce competitively for the export market” in Africa and beyond.
According to him, the programme is intended to cover a variety of areas: enhancing productive capacity, ensuring access to affordable credit from financial institutions and banks and identifying specific market information about market opportunities in different countries.
Others include ensuring the provision of technical assistance for quality and standards and supporting the companies in terms of human resource capacity building due to the difficulties associated with exports.
Following the above, he noted that needs assessment would be made of companies that are already exporting to Africa so that a targetted programme would be implemented to help them increase their production.
In like manner, those that are not exporting to Africa but to other parts of the world will be guided to identify opportunities in the African markets.