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14.11.2008 Business & Finance

Non Traditional Exports To Hit $1.4bn In Five Years

The country's Non-Tradtional Exports (NTEs) is projected to hit $1.4 billion in the next five years under a new National Exports Strategy programme to be rolled out next year.

The country recorded for the first time last year, an increase of NTEs well above $1 billion from the $400 million it recorded in 2000.

Speaking at the launch of the National Service Export Strategy and inauguration of an Implementation Committee in Accra , the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), Mr Edward Collins Boateng, said the council was hopeful that over $30 million of the total projected exports would come from the service sector.

He said the service sector had not been formally captured under the country's non-traditional exports over the past years.

Mr Boateng said “the idea of streamlining and strategically positioning services in the nation's exports portfolio has generated a lot of interest across the academia, policy makers, stakeholders and other interested groups”.

He said the strategy covered three main areas, namely awareness creation, looking at the obstacles which hindered the service sectors ability to export and the need to carry out specific activities to promote the service sector.

Mr Boateng said it would take the commitment of all stakeholders to ensure the development of the service sector to contribute to the national goal.

The Minister of Trade, Industry, President's Special Initiative (PSI) and the Private Sector Development (PSD), Paapa Owusu-Ankomah, said the country needed a more purposeful national approach if it wanted to take full advantage of and participating in the opportunities that existed in the sub-region.

“That is why we embrace this renewed national efforts at providing a clearer strategic direction for the development of the services export sector of Ghana”, the minister stated.

Mr Owusu-Ankomah, said the prospects of the service sector for developing new knowledge based services and international competitiveness would depend largely on how the country continued to invest in its human resources.

“Greater attention must also be paid to quality management, setting of standards and accreditation by professional bodies if we are to ensure that Ghana appears on the radar screens of the major users and consumers of international services”, he stated.

The minister called on service providers who wanted to be part of the export market to take advantage of the 50 per cent matching scheme available through the Business Development Services at his ministry.

He also stated that the Export Development and Investment Fund, had factored in the services export sector in its new corporate strategic plan.

“We believe that the tremendous growth recorded in the services sector in general which contributes over 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can also be replicated in the export of services within and beyond the borders”, Mr Owusu-Ankomah stated.

The Director General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), Dr Osei-Boeh Ocansey commended the GEPC for the initiative to ensure the implementation went through successfully.

He called on members of the implementation committee to face the challenges that came with the export sector by addressing some of the constraints that hindered business in the sub-region.

Story by Boahene Asamoah

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