The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) says Ghana has enhanced its stature in international trade; recording substantial expansion in total exports.

Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, revealed this in a speech read on her behalf at a conference on the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) and the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) held at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

The conference was under theme ‘Empowering Ghanaian businesses to harness the benefits of the African continental free trade agreement under the framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).”

Participants at the conference in Bolgatanga

According to Dr. Asabea, the enhancement is attributable to the joint efforts of government and the private sector.

“Over the past decades, Ghana has enhanced its stature in international trade recording substantial expansion in total exports, thanks to the joint efforts of government and the Ghanaian private sector” She said.

She however lamented that there is relatively weak performance of the Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) sector and other externalities in the international trading environment in recent times.

This according to her has laid bare the bones of Ghana’s over reliance on primary commodity exports and limited product diversification and value addition.

“The recent relatively weak performance of the Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) sector and other externalities in the international trading environment have revealed the risks, weakness and uncertainties associated with our over dependence on primary commodity exports and limited product diversification and value addition.” Dr. Asabea explained.

She noted that this has necessitated government’s decision to shift from the export of raw materials like timber,gold, bauxite, manganese, diamond among others to value addedproducts.The initiative she stated, is undertaken by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, aimed at adding value to the country’s raw materials.

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Dr. Asabea’s speech was read on her behalf by Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura.

The conference forms part of a series of regional events being organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), GEPA and the AfCTA coordination office under the auspices of the Minister for Trade and industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, which seeks to empower the private srctor to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA.

Mr. Kyeremanteng in a speech read on his behalf indicated that AfCFTA is the largest trade bloc in the world with a single market; comprising 54 member states.

According to him, “It has a population of over 1.2 billion and a combined GDP of over US$3.4 trillion. Adding that “It is worth noting that the agreement, when fully implemented has the potential to boost intra-African trade by as much as 52.3% by 2022 and this could double as non-tariff barriers are eliminated.”

He continued by assuring the private sector of government’s commitment to create an enabling environment for the private sector to marshal production capacity and resources to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Kyeremanteng’s speech was read on his behalf by Dr. John-Hawkins Asiedu, Technical Advisor – Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones at MoTI.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHZ|Elijah Beyeni Yenibey|Ghana

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