Task force on Exim bank presents report to Mahama
The government inched closer to the establishment of an export-import (EXIM) bank in the country when a task force set up to work on the modalities presented its report to President John Dramani Mahama at the Flagstaff House yesterday.
Details of the report were not made known, but the President said it would be put before the Cabinet shortly for discussion and approval.
Plans to set up a Ghana Exim Bank was originally contained in the government's 2015 Budget and Financial Estimates presented in late 2014.
As a follow-up, the President, in February this year, set up the task force, chaired by Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, the Chair of the Ecobank Board of Directors.
He, however, passed away before the task force could complete its work and was replaced by Mr Steve Williams, a banker.
It had representatives from the Association of Ghana Industries, the Export Finance Company, the Eximguaranty Company, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, EDAIF, the Federation of Ghanaian Exporters, the Bank of Ghana, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department.
The government plans to use the bank to strategically position Ghana as an export-led economy.
The Ghana Exim Bank, according to the government, was expected to be a vehicle for the consolidation of the current export finance activities of the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF), the Eximguaranty Company and Export Finance Company.
President Mahama explained that the quest to establish the Exim bank was in line with the government's agenda for the transformation of the economy.
"I look forward to the Ghana Exim Bank accelerating the drive to achieving a more diversified economy and improved capacity to produce goods and services for exports," he said.
The bank, he said, would also help the country take advantage of global initiatives such as the United States' AGOA and the European Union's Economic Partnership Agreement ( EPA) to boost the country's exports.
President Mahama commended the task force for the work that went into preparing the report.
He said the first review of the IMF programme was underway "and trade imbalance has been flagged once again as one of the major flaws in Ghana's economy".
Mr Williams expressed the hope that the implementation of the report would position Ghana strongly to correct the imbalances in the country's import and export operations.