Ghana only trades two percent with Africa – GEPA

Madam Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA

Latest research findings indicate that trade activities between Ghana and other African trading partners stands at only two per cent out of the 141 trading partners of GEPA.

This implies that Ghana’s trade with Africa is very minimal as compared to major export communities.

Director of Research at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr. Maxwell Kusi, made these revelations during the 78th National Exporters’ Forum launch on the 2017 Non-Traditional Exports Statistics (NTES) held in Accra.

The 2016 reports however show that trading between Ghana and ECOWAS was the highest, attaining 24 per cent. However, in 2017, it was overtaken by the European Union (EU).

The swift turn in the 2017 report was largely due to economic barriers that exist among African nations. Mr. Kusi noted that for GEPA to achieve its set target of US$5.3 billion in export earnings in 2021, all stakeholders need to put in extra effort.

“We need to work hard within the sub-region to look at the non-tariff measures that inhibit free movement of goods and services”, the Director of Research noted.

The distribution chart puts the EU on top with 46 per cent. Other countries including, China scored 24% whiles other developed countries including USA, Switzerland and Japan were at eight per cent.

Deputy Minister for Trade

Speaking at the launch of the conference, Deputy Minister for Trade, Carlos Ahenkorah stated that despite the trade gains, it was surprising to learn Ghana’s trade with rest of Africa is not encouraging.

“Ghana rose 13 places in the World Bank Trade Report from 167 in 2016 to 154 in 2016 under the Ghana National Single Window. Similarly, improvements were registered in the World Bank Registered Performance Index where Ghana rose 12 places from 100 in 2014 to 88 in 2016”.

“But despite all these gains into the ECOWAS markets and all markets outside the sub-region, it is sad to note that Ghana’s trade with the rest of Africa is minimal” Hon. Ahenkora lamented.

He mentioned that with the increase in production volumes of exporters, it was important to go beyond the ECOWAS markets and bigger AU markets. He noted that this trade mechanism will enable GEPA achieve its US$10.3 billion sets target.

He charged the leadership of GEPA to make their impact felt when this year’s Intra-African Trade Fair – which seeks to discuss African Continental Free Trade Agreement, comes off in Cairo, Egypt.

By Dundas Whigham