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17.10.2007 General News

EDIF Law Under Review

By Daily Guide

Government has begun reviewing the law that established the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) so as to make the operations of the fund more relevant and responsive to the financial needs of all exporters.

This came after the Board Chairman of EDIF, Nana Brentuo had called for the increment of the fund saying the $20 million meant for the exporters was inadequate. Some exporters also complained of the difficulties they encountered in accessing financial support from the fund.

Speaking at the 18th National Awards for Export Achievement 2006, Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD) and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI), Joe Baidoe Ansah said his outfit had begun implementing various policy initiatives and interventions under the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP) to address some of the constraints facing the sector.

The interventions, according to him, included the provision of modern storage and cold chain facilities at the airport and Tema Port as well as supporting the provision of pack houses at strategic locations.

Analysis of the performance of the Non-Traditional Export Sector (NTES) had revealed that on a consistent basis, the ECOWAS sub region was becoming an important market for non-traditional exports.

Mr. Baidoe-Ansah said there was the need to redoubled efforts and trade more in the sub-region with special attention on Nigeria since it had a bigger market.

To this end, a trade mission from the Trade Ministry was expected to visit Nigeria by the end of this year to further boost trade between the two countries, he added.

Meanwhile the Ghana Export Promotion Center (GEPC) is setting up a desk to promote the export of services.

The council had also initiated discussions with the Commonwealth Secretariat to develop a National Services Export Strategy that would design a blue print for harnessing Ghana's potential in exporting services.

This came after the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) and the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) had held several meetings on how to harness the services sector such as education, information communication and technology as well as health to contribute to the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

The two bodies realized that the services sector was globally becoming a critical component of trade, not only as a facilitation to merchandise trade, but as areas of trade in themselves.

Companies such as Golden Exotics, John Bitar Company and West Africa Fishery Products were given silver award for their excellent performances in 2006.

Unilever Ghana Limited, Ghana Cotton Company, Balanced View Limited and Azar Chemical also received awards in the gold category.

The Exporter of the Year award went to Naja David Veneer and Plywood Limited, which was based in Kumasi.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah