Good News For Ghanaian Exporters
By: Masahudu Ankillu Kunateh
Regus, the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces, has good news for export-focused West African companies.
Latest research by the leading provider which just launched a second centre in Accra last month, gives the thumbs-up to outwardly focused business strategies and suggests that Ghanaian companies with links to China and other BRIC nations ( Brazil, Russia, India and China) are particularly well positioned.
The study says firms that trade internationally report better revenues and profits than businesses that stick to their domestic markets. Generating growth through trade has been a central pillar in the policy strategy of many Western economies.
With Ghana's burgeoning middle-class status, export marketing activities as a way of promoting its non-traditional export (NTEs) has become a major contributor to economic growth.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has rolled out six projects to enable the Authority increase the performance of its Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) sector by 35.24 per cent this year.
Regus' second Global Survey report on export business, which canvassed opinion from more than 20 000 senior business managers in over 90 countries, brings the following insights:
50% of global firms that export say they've increased profits over the last 12 months compared with 38% of companies that only trade domestically
59% of companies that export said their revenues had grown compared with 37% of firms focused domestically
China is the most popular market with 48% of businesses exporting there, ahead of Europe (41%), North America (36%), India (31%) and South America (31%)
The most profitable areas for export are emerging markets and Europe
Joanne Bushell, Vice President for Africa & Middle East noted: 'Our report not only spotlights the advantages of export orientation for West African companies, it also highlights exporter concerns.
These include worries about property and paperwork, an issue raised by 78% of respondents and the challenge of building an image abroad, a concern for 35% of respondents while risk management is an issue for 40%.'
She continued 'Regus has the network, resources and expertise to help current and potential exporters with challenges such as this.'
Bushell said Regus office centres in locations worldwide are positioned in upmarket business areas and are equipped with the latest office and computer technology - bestowing substantial image benefits on client firms and ensuring market newcomers have the support necessary to make a strong impression.
She added: 'Property concerns are obviously outsourced to the solution-providers at Regus as clients do not have to invest in bricks and mortar or sign lease agreements that lock them into sometimes onerous conditions.
'This obviously mitigates many of the risks faced by a new entrant to a chosen export market.
'In addition, Regus products like Virtual Office and Businessworld bestow great agility and enable clients to gradually build critical mass and rightsize their operations in specific markets.'
Instructively, Regus has a presence in Accra; regionally, in addition to Ghana, Regus is represented in Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast. In a desirable export destination like China – which according to South African based Standard Bank, is Africa's single biggest trading partner  #_ftn1 - Regus has a presence in 52 centers. Worldwide, the business is represented in over 1500 locations, 600 cities and 100 countries.