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14.10.2008 Business & Finance

Non-Traditional exports exceed target

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

Exports of Non-Traditional crops in the country has exceeded its target of US$1billion, marked by the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), reaching an all time high of US$ 1.2 billion for the 2007 season.

This remarkable achievement represents a 30.5% growth over the 2006 figure of US$ 892 million, and also contributing 27% to the total export earnings of the country for the 2007 season.

Factors attributable to this performance, according to the Executive Secretary of GEPC, Mr. Edward Collins Boateng, at the 19th National Awards for Export Achievement in Accra, was based on improved performance of manufacturers, enhanced market access programmes for exporting companies as a result of support from the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), product diversification and extension programmes emanating from AGOA, ETLS projects and enhanced data capture through the Ghana Community Network System (GCNET).

“This achievement is a significant shot-in-the-arm for all stakeholders in Ghana's non-traditional export sector. We believe that this accomplishment has been possible because of the hard work of both our exporters and the current macroeconomic environment”, noted Stephen Sekyere-Abankwa, Chairman Governing Council of GEPC.

Non-Traditional Exports are all other export items except, cocoa, electricity, minerals (such as gold, diamonds, bauxite among many others) and timber.

Leading products for the 2007 season include cocoa paste and butter, canned tuna, articles of plastics and fresh cut pineapples.

GEPC has projected a US$4 billion in Non-Traditional Exports revenue by 2010 which it hopes to achieve through increased funding into the sector, particularly to expand supply capacity.