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Non-traditional exports rake in USD2.9bn in 2019

Ghana Export Promotion Authority has launched 2019’s report on the performance of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) at its newly opened Ashanti zonal office in Danyame, Kumasi.

The highlight of the launch was the announcement of an increase in earnings from $2.813 billion in 2018 to $2.899 billion, representing an increase of 3.10%.

National export grew by 8.53% over 2018 compared to a slower rate in NTE for the same period

According to highlights of the 2019 report presented by Mr. Samuel Dentu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations & Finance at GEPA, the top 10 products that contributed 57% of NTE earnings were in the manufacturing sector.

The report revealed the processed and semi-processed sector particularly cocoa products, were the main drivers of the increased earnings contributing over $800 million.

The manufacturing sector with products like cocoa cake, cocoa butter, cocoa paste, canned tuna, articles of plastics, iron and steel products, continues to be the highest contributor improving its growth rate by 11.15% compared to 2018.

Of significant notice was a 37% drop in cashew earnings in the agric sector. A 37% drop in cashew’s contribution drove a significant decrease in the agricultural sector’s contribution to 2019’s performance.

The agric sector contributed $430mn in 2019 as against 2018’s earnings of $591mn. Cashew was affected mainly by its “low demand at the beginning of the season,” the report highlighted.

The 2019 NTE Statistics Report also highlighted an interesting growth of Oil palm products of more than $112 million representing 5,000%+ over 2018 figures. This growth was attributed to increased markets in the sub-region and increased utilization of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme.”

Going forward, one area where the Ghana Export Promotion Authority will attach a keen focus to is “Services Export” since it drives in lots of Foreign Currency into the Country.

This will be in the areas of Higher Education, Medical, Information Technology and IT-enabled Services, and Professional Services to the sub-region and Africa as a whole.

Dr. Afua Asabea Asare CEO of GEPA indicated that access to reliable data on international trade flows such as the 2019 Report was vital in making informed decisions.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay admonished that export requires more attention by adding value to raw products to increase revenues coming in from Non-traditional exports.

“As part of our ten-year strategy, we’ll be processing more cashew. Once we grow more, we’ll process it because we understand the value of the cashew business. We don’t want to sell the beans,” Hon. Ahomka-Lindsay mentioned, touching on Government’s intended intervention in Cashew export.

Board Chairman of GEPA, Mr. Sandy Osei-Agyeman who was also at the launch event encouraged Ghanaians to adapt “the multiplier effect” where every Ghanaian judiciously consumes Made in Ghana products.

“Just like the Jews, Lebanese, the Indians, love to buy from each other, we in Ghana should support what we do here by buying from one another. We have to consume what we make here and we can export the rest so we’ll keep the money in Ghana”.

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