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"GEPA Records 17% Increase In Earnings Over 2020 In Non-Traditonal Export" -Dr. Afua Asare Announces

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry has launched the 2021 Non-Traditional Export Statistics Report in Accra.

According to the report, GEPA has a recorded a 17% increase in earnings over 2020 in non-traditional export.

Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare said "The year 2021 was widely heralded as the year of rebirth, and rightly so. This year has seen a resurgence in business and an optimistic return to normalcy. In terms of business, the year 2021 saw an uptick, with working amidst covid protocols being part of the norm"


Dr. Asare added that GEPA as an institution with the primary mandate of facilitating the production and promoting made-in-Ghana goods and services outside the country’s boundaries came to terms with using technology primarily for several aspects of its operations where it hitherto heavily relied on in-person tactics.

"Business summits, Trade shows, Global seminars and Exhibitions were all running either virtually or in hybrid mode, utilizing all available resources to promote exports and strengthening exporters’ capacities"


She added that over time, with the reduction of restrictions and in-person events regaining prominence, GEPA perfected the art of incorporating a virtual perspective to all aspects of our operations.

"Interestingly, now when we invite our Exporters for in-person events, the next obvious statement from them is “Please share the link for us to join online”. This practice has so quickly become “a matter of course”, as if it was always a part of us."


She further revealed that GEPA perfected the art of partnerships and collaboration which proved impactful, engaging and rewarding for stakeholders involved.  


"Without sounding like a broken record Ladies and Gentlemen, our mandate at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority as an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, seeks to facilitate the production and promotion of value-added goods and services made in Ghana. Within the export value chain and trade fraternity, our mandates are quite interdependent and our best outputs are the ones that have been supported by strong institutional collaborations"


"Our Exporters are the final beneficiaries of the work we do as their productivity impacts the export figures. So you can understand why we tend to get excited when we record a significant increase in non-traditional export earnings. We are quick to remind ourselves however that the broad target of Usd25.3 billion by 2029, is still on the horizon and therefore the performance of the previous year, is only an indication of the level of momentum we need to gather, to achieve our objective of making Ghana an industrialized economy"


Dr. Asare stressed that as implementing agency of the National Export Development Strategy, GEPA aligned itself to three (3) pillars of strategy, of which enabled them work towards achieving its aim of turning its fortunes around.

"Increasing productivity of our exporters, advocating for the enhancement of the business environment to encourage exporters to export more and building the competence of exporters to enable them compete favorably in international markets were the three strong pillars we aligned ourselves to"


"However like I mentioned earlier, we are unable to achieve this alone as an Agency – not because we are unskilled but because the success of the strategy relies on the collaborative effort of public-private sector partnership."


She hinted that since there is so much to be achieved in destination markets, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will continue to provide duty-free treatment to goods of designated sub-Saharan African countries.

"We have barely scratched the surface of this act. In 2021, we exported to 152 countries and the EU and UK markets continue to top our export destinations contributing 35.96% to total market value.  The Asian market demand alone is overwhelming not to mention the new AfCFTA market that beckons"


"Ladies and gentlemen, you would realise that there’s a lot we can do to turn things around – if we set our minds to being export-oriented and aligning our operations to the pillars of the National Export Development Strategy"


On his part, the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa said “Ghana has taken a number of key advances on its way to becoming an industrialized country and events such as this one, allows us to look back and evaluate our progress in the export sector qualitatively. It goes without saying that if we want to achieve the status of an industrialized economy, then we equally need a persistent export-oriented mindset to give meaning to our vision of a Ghana beyond aid”.”


He added that Ghana, like all other countries worldwide, is getting back on track to plough back lost revenues due to downtimes in 2019/2020 and recover as much as possible after the pandemic.


He hinted that following a renewed sense of optimism and determination to strengthen Ghana’s economy for the long term, Government is committed to helping, enhancing, and supporting activities that will inject a boost into the economy and consequently enable private sector create the much needed jobs.


“Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to take you back to the reason why the National Export Development Strategy was launched in the last quarter of 2020.


Ghana’s annual growth rate of total export figures in the last eight (8) years has hovered around 1.75% while the contribution of Non-Traditional Export earnings to the Total National Exports has recorded between 18% and 23% during the same period. Ghana has historically exported mainly raw commodities which have consistently fetched us low prices and insufficient foreign exchange revenues. Meanwhile in destination markets, considerable wealth and jobs are created by adding value to the raw materials we produce here in Ghana. The irony is how we have to buy back these finished products, at high prices, with hard-earned foreign currency.”


To break this cycle, Mr. Krapa revealed that Government took a bold strategic decision to transform the structure of its economy from a raw commodity export-based one to a manufacturing industrial export-driven economy.


This, he said, was backed with the launch of the policy document “The 10-Point Agenda for Industrial Transformation”.


“Ghana Export Promotion Authority, an agency mandated under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to diversify Ghana’s exports and promote products and services made-in-Ghana, was then tasked to lead the formulation of the National Export Development Strategy as a means to implement the 10-Point Agenda, complementing it with an export dimension”


“The goal of the Strategy is to achieve substantial increase in the manufactured goods and services components of Ghana’s exports to attain a projected revenue of at least

Usd25.3billion by 2029”


“We are in the year 2022 and you may say the strategy is still in its early stages, but other nations have hit the ground running with their eyes on getting a chunk of the Usd3.3trillion AfCFTA market to improve their economies”


He reminded the gathering that a few weeks ago, ten (10) sector committees were inaugurated at GEPA to kick off the implementation of the strategy.


He noted that their role will be to provide the necessary guidance, advice, expertise and concrete implementation actions within their sectoral value chains based on the various interventions outlined in the needs.


“As already outlined in the strategy, these members of the committees were drawn from private sector organisations and multi-faceted institutions within the public sector. This is to ensure that as much as possible, we are intrinsically linked for a common purpose, and no one drops their side of the bargain in making this strategy work for Ghana to prosper. A good number of interventions outlined within the Strategy correspond with Government’s policies and flagship programs, with a strong emphasis on value addition and employment development. By addressing the challenges in the trade sector and providing new export opportunities, we can cultivate sustainable grounds to boost our currency by having a wider and more diverse export base”


“Once we are checking all the right boxes in the Strategy, we can then afford to measure how well we are doing on a yearly basis against our Usd25.3billion target in 2029. We can do so by identifying if the output of our daily grind and resulting outcomes are having the required impact on our economy, in our communities – most importantly in our pockets! The narrations and analysis behind the figures in this 2021 report are insightful. I know that a number of key institutions have a hand in validating these figures presented in the report.  I therefore have no reservations in encouraging as many stakeholders in the Industry and Trade fraternity, to make use of this Report as a vital source document for professional, academic, and research purposes.


Mr. Krapa noted that despite the challenges the covid pandemic brought, Ghana's recovery rate  has been impressive adding that in 2018, NTE earnings witnessed a 10% increase over 2017 figures.


Explaining further, he mentioned that in 2019 it recorded a 3.10% increase over the previous year, while 2020 recorded a decline of -1.84%.


“The year 2021 – which a lot of people have called the year of bouncing back, recorded a 17% increase in earnings over 2020. I believe that this report will provide us with the drive and momentum to achieve the Usd25.3 billion target”


WTO global trade forecasts for 2021 indicated that if COVID 19 Pandemic was brought under control and trade started to expand again, most regions could record double-digit rebound of around 21% - 24%.


NTE earnings for the period under review (January to December 2021) amounted to US$3.330 billion, reflecting an increase of about 17% over 2020 earnings of US$ 2.846 billion.

Over the last five years (2017 to 2021), Ghana's Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) grew at an annual average rate of 7.07% and contributed 22.62% to the total national merchandise exports of Ghana in 2021. 

The contribution of Non-traditional exports to Total exports from 2017 to 2021 shows a trendy performance depicting: growth from 2017-2018, slow growth from 2018-2019, negative growth from 2019-2020, substantial growth from 2020 -2021 and then a sharp growth from 2020-2021.

Total National exports grew by 1.75% in 2021 compared to 2020.

The average annual growth of total national exports over a 5-year period (2017-2021) was also 1.75%.


Total exports showed a gentle growth relative to a rapid growth in the Non-Traditional Exports in 2021 relative to 2020.


This was due to growth in demand in all categories of traditional export products with a corresponding average growth of 21.57% in earnings.

Whereas NTE earnings experienced an average growth of 25.12% across sub-sectors.

This growth associated with the NTE sector relative to the Traditional sector exhibits buoyancy of the NTE sector.


NTE’s percentage contribution to Total National exports in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 were 18%, 19%, 18%, 20% and 22.62% respectively.


The impressive showing of the NTE sector in 2021 over 2020 was due to a general increase in demand for major processed /semi-processed NTE products, expansions of and optimum running of installed capacities of some major companies, as well as exportation by some new 1D1F export-oriented companies, adherence to protocols of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) by most member States, and relentless trade facilitation efforts by the GEPA under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.


 Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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