The Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) is advocating the review of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF Act 582) to enable it to finance export activities of small and medium scale enterprises.
The EDIF Act mandates the management and Board of the Fund to provide financial assistance to export oriented companies at the production level.
An Economic Consultant, Felix Tettey-Fio, who has been contracted by the Foundation to solicit for inputs into the 2008 budget, has noted that the export-oriented companies particularly SMEs are presently confronted with challenges in finding market for their export produce.
The situation, he said, has made it difficult for them to repay the monies given them by the Fund. "This is happening because the EDIF Act prevents the Foundation from assisting in the export activities of companies," he said.
It is estimated that 80 percent of industrial establishments in the country are SMEs employing a greater chunk of the labour force.
For the first half of 2006, EDIF approved a total of 46 billion cedi loan facility for 13 projects, to beneficiary sectors namely, agro processing, salt and mining among others.
Between 2002 and 2005, EDIF has supported the non traditional export sector of the country to the tune of 440.18 billion cedis.
PEF has also called for the evaluation of the Fund to enable business groups to assess whether it is delivering on its mandate.
Credit: Business & Financial Times