GOVERNMENT HAS through the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) set an agenda for developing 17 priority products under the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) which envisages a growth of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $25.3 billion in 2029.
The products which jointly have a potential of generating $24.1 billion by 2029 consists of high-performance products as well as strategic anchor products for industrial transformation.
Selected products included processed Cocoa, Cashew, horticultural products, processed oil seeds, fish and fishery products, textiles and garments, sugar, natural rubber sheets, aluminium products and articles of plastics which as well included petrol chemical products.
Remaining products were services, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel products, automobiles and vehicles, industrial salt, machinery and components as well as industrial starch.
A benchmark set by the NEDS in selecting the priority products was high performance of products in attractive markets that have easy entry and product ability to increase supply to meet world market demand.
Other criteria for selection also included export potential of products into new markets, domestic supply capacity and the current export performance of products in dynamic market where high global market share could be guaranteed.
In an interview with Business Guide, Samuel Dentu, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Operations and Finance at GEPA, explained that development of priority products would come mostly in the area of research, collaboration for the supply of right inputs, advocacy, capacity development for some of the actors among others.
Direct support from government, he said, was therefore needed as “it was geared towards attracting a real quantum leap investment from the private sector.”
The NEDS was designed in line with government’s “10-point industrial agenda for industrial transformation,” which was formulated to help transform the economy from a raw commodity export-based economy to that of a manufacturing-industrial-export driven one.
It seeks to build synergies with government’s flagship programmes such as ‘One District, One Factory’, Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, District Industrialization for Jobs and Wealth Creation and so on.
It is anchored on the strategic pillars of improving export supply base, improving business operating environment and developing human capital.
Prior to the design and implementation of NEDS which was launch in October 2020, the World Bank in 2012 had provided financial assistance for the formulation of a five-year National Export Strategy (NES) for the Non-Traditional Sector which ended in 2016.
Expected outcome was however reported to not have been realized due to financial constraints in implementation.
By Issah Mohammed