GEPA Bent On Increasing Export Earnings

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is determined to sustain its export trade facilitation programmes to help the private sector rake in more revenue from non-traditional exports (NTEs) this year. According to the Director of Audit at the GEPA, Mr Stephen Normeshie, the export sector is still driven by primary commodities such as cocoa and timber and their full potential has not been realised due to minimal investments in the sector. "Thus, imports into the country have far outweighed what we export, thereby creating wealth for foreign investors," Mr Normeshie lamented. "It is in this light that we would appreciate an increase in the authority’s funding budget by the government to adequately support the private sector to increase growth," he added. Earnings Mr Normeshie told the Daily Graphic that although there was a drop of 2.43 per cent in revenues expected from NTEs in 2012, the US$3.3 billion target for 2013 was achievable. In 2013, the GEPA alone coordinated the participation of 25 export companies in three international trade fairs in Ambiente, Germany, Biofach Fair- Germany, Africa Fair- Japan, and Izmir International Trade Fair (IZFAS) in Turkey. "Confirmed export orders worth US$390,000 were obtained for handicrafts during the Ambiente fair," Mr Normeshie stated. The prospects shown for agricultural and manufactured products exhibited during the Biofach, Africa and Izmir fair, respectively, have energised us to conduct aggressive market surveillance and follow up to secure order for exporters," he intimated. Market Promotions For his part, the Director of Market Promotions at the GEPA, Mr Alex Dadzawa, said the authority had participated in a bilateral business forum in Benin, "and during the period of the forum, Made-in-Ghana goods were exhibited as part of processes to create goodwill for Ghanaian products in that country." "The GEPA also collaborated with the Ghana China Friendship Association (GHACHIFA) to organise Ghana’s participation in the Yiwu Forestry Products Fair in China in 2013 in which 16 Ghanaian companies participated," Mr Dadzawa added. Capacity building The authority, according to Mr Dadzawa, trained 274 people from export companies and trade support institutions. Participants, he said, were taken through export marketing fundamentals, commercial representation abroad, market research and analysis, among others. Similar programmes were run for the workers and management of the authority under a GEPA-CBI partnership.