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07.10.2008 Business & Finance

Ghanaian shea butter soap attracts the Japanese market

By gna

Mr. Edward Collins Boateng, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), on Tuesday announced that the Ghanaian shea butter soap was now being sold in Japan.

He said the deal of exporting shea butter soap to Japan was clinched when the Japanese Export Trade Organization (JETRO) opened its correspondent office in Ghana and identified some women involved in the production of shea butter soap to build their capacity.

“The women were trained to add value to the product by enhancing the quality and the packaging of the soap which was sold for five U.S dollars in Japan,” he said.

Mr. Boateng said this when he addressed the Second Exporters’ Forum in Accra.

The forum is held twice every year to address the challenges of Ghanaian exporters while serving as a platform to exchange ideas on how they could improve the export industry.

He said there were also individual organizations which were trying to revamp the shea nut industry on their own and announced that a National Export Strategy was being developed and shea nut was one of the products that it hoped to focus on.

Mentioning some challenges faced by exporters, Mr Boateng said, funding continues to be one of the major problems faced by people in the industry.

Mr. Kweku Agyeman Manu, Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD) and President’s Special Initiative (PSI), in a speech read on his behalf said the export sector was important for Ghana’s economic growth since the export revenue underpinned the strength of the currency and provided financial resources critical for development expenditure.

He pointed out that policy interventions being implemented under the Trade Sector Support Programme included the provision of modern storage and cold chain facilities as well as cargo handling facility at the airport were attempts by government to help improve the export industry.

Commenting on the access to funding by exporters, Mr Manu said the Export Development and Investment Fund, the Venture Capital Fund, and the Micro Credit and Small Loan Centre were a few interventions that government was undertaking to increase funding to the sector.

He urged exporters to keep accurate financial records that will make it easy for them to access credit from financial institutions.

The Deputy Minister also called for a more vibrant and capable export product associations that could mobilize their membership to dialogue with government in finding solutions to the problems facing the export sector.

Mr. Manu announced that an award ceremony would be held on October 11 to recognize exporters who had achieved excellence in their operations.