Officials of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and stakeholders have drafted a 10-year National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) aimed at achieving strategic growth in the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector, and targeting US$10 billion in annual revenue by 2028.
The revised document was instigated by a request by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen following the expiration of the previous National Export Strategy in 2017. The goal is to incorporate the new policy with the incumbent government’s industrialization programmes such as One District One Factory, (1D1F), Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD).
Over the next decade, the average growth rate being targeted is 16.8 percent. The goal of the Strategy is to achieve not less than US$5 billion in NTE exports in each of the next three years and to realise this, stakeholders are targeting 20 percent year on year export growth.
Instructively however, Ghana’s NTE export revenue only grew from US$2.5 billion in 2017 to US$2.77 billion in 2018, representing 3.2 percent. The overall objective of the NEDS is to enhance Ghana’s effective participation within the multilateral trading system and to substantially increase revenues from NTEs.
A list of priority products likely to make significant contributions to achieving the strategic growth revenue within the next decade has been compiled. They include processed cocoa, cashew, horticultural products, oil seeds, fish and fishery products. Others are apparel, natural rubber sheets, aluminium products and articles made of plastics.
Under the new strategy, Stakeholders are advocating implementation of a package of pro-industrialisation training and fiscal policy measures to enhance and promote trade. One of such measures is to ensure that import duties on inputs imported for domestic and exports are either reduced or removed. This is expected to increase the effective protection of indigenous industries and enhance competitiveness.
In consultation with the organized private sector, Stakeholders have also proposed judicious application of World Trade Centre (WTO) safeguard measures aimed at protecting domestic industries from unfair competition as a result of an influx of cheap imported goods.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business during the 3rd National Export Development Strategy Formulation Workshop in Accra last Wednesday, the Board Chairman of GEPA, Mr. Sandy Osei-Agyeman said it was possible to achieve the set target if the roadmap put in place is worked on effectively.
“GEPA’s past strategy has been to be a promotional entity. Now we have to switch and add developmental entity. If we do the things that we need to do, achieving the set target will be relatively easy”, he noted.
The Board of GEPA is expected to present the final document to the Minister of Trade and Industry after due consultations with stakeholders have been made.
Over the past years, GEPA has initiated several activities geared towards developing the supply capacity of some of key export value chains. Some of these initiatives include procurement and supply of improved seeds and seedlings to farmers who cultivate pineapple, cashew, coconut, yam and vegetables farmers across the country. The aim is to substantially increase the supply base of these crops for export.