Last week, officials of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) met with representatives of the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva, Switzerland together with some international partners to initiate discussions aimed at securing “big money for small businesses” in Ghana.
The delegation was led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Madam Afua Asabea Asare, who reiterated that the major objectives of the Authority was to institute measures that will encourage the needed financing for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), irrespective of the stage of growth in their life cycle.
The move is to enhance and facilitate easy access for credit facility extension for export oriented MSMEs. This was during the MSME Day celebrations which also coincided with the launch of SME Competitive Outlook report for 2019.
According to GEPA, similar business interactions have been earmarked to boost the competitiveness of export oriented MSMEs in the country.
This is part of concerted effort and policy direction of the Authority which are geared towards boosting the export potentials of MSMEs aimed at making them competitive in terms of economies of scale as this would in turn contribute immensely to growth in the sector.
Importantly, the move taken by GEPA in collaboration with its international partners is expected to position small businesses in the export sector to take enormous advantage of the yet to be implemented Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) – which some trade experts and institutions including the World Bank, have cautioned Ghana to institute strong policy measures to avert possible shocks to local businesses.
In Ghana, it is estimated that SMEs contribute more than 70 percent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and account for 92 out of every 100 businesses. Globally, the contribution of small enterprises to the growth of national economies is considered as significant.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business, Director of Projects at GEPA, Alexandar Dadzawa said the collaboration with ITC will be both technical and financial support.
To formalize the process in hosting next year’s World Trade Promotion Organization (WTPO) Conference and Awards in Accra, the GEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with representatives of the International Trade Centre.
During the 2018 edition of the WTPO Conference and Awards in Paris, France, GEPA won the hosting bid over countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Kenya to host the 2020 WTPO Conference and Awards in Accra.
The event also provided a platform for discussion of various upcoming projects being partnered by the ITC to be reviewed.
Top among them are Alliance for Action, SheTrades Commonwealth Project, SheTrades Ghana Chapter, Trade for Sustainable Development, Non Tarriff Measures, Packaging and Design Week Project, Youth in Export Program and E-Commerce, Export School.