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06.01.2011 Business & Finance

Ghana targets US$5 billion earnings from non-traditional exports by 2015

By GNA
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January 05, 2011 Accra, Jan. 5, GNA - Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry on Wednesday said Ghana was targeting about five billion dollars from non-traditional exports by 2015.

This, she said, should compare with current earnings of around one billion dollars.

She made the statement at a sod-cutting ceremony for work to commence on a 2.5 million-dollar Perishable Cargo Centre (PCC) to house fruits and vegetables for export at the Aviance Cargo Village in Accra.

The PCC is expected to be part of an integrated cold chain for the horticultural sub-sector which is required to achieve better produce quality and higher export market prices.

It would also enable exporters to maintain produce quality to meet international standards of the high-end export market.

The project, funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States, is being implemented by MiDA, Ghana.

Ms Tetteh called on exporters of horticultural products to take advantage of the facility to protect their produce to meet international certified standards.

She expressed dissatisfaction that some stakeholders in the international export community complained about the fallen standards of quality export produce stressing that the PCC project, when completed, would forestall the situation.

Ms Tetteh underscored the importance of access to market which was equally as critical as finance was to business.

She stressed the importance of maintaining the PCC facility to serve the intended purpose.

Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), expressed the hope that the provision of PCC would position Ghana to attract both local and foreign investment in the export business as well as to augment the country's freight throughput.

"Our investigation indicated that importers were rejecting our produce due to poor handling from Kotoka International Airport as they claimed these products failed to meet safety and international certification standards," she said.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko said GACL had provided a 2.86 acre land for the project and pledged their commitment towards partnering with the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) to provide world class gateway infrastructure and operations at the airport.

"The project is part of government's agenda to address the reduction of rural poverty through targeted agricultural, transportation related and social infrastructural interventions through the MiDA," she said.

GNA

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