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04.11.2004 Business & Finance

Three Export Trade Houses launched

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Accra, Nov. 4 GNA - Three Export Trade Houses were launched on Thursday to discover the untapped potentials of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and assist them to export their products abroad. The three are Ghana Trade Centre (GTC), Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA) and the Ghana ECOWAS Trading Company (GEXTRACO).

The GTC would explore markets in Ghana and Middle East while GNPA would take care of Europe, USA and Asia. GEXTRACO would market products in the West Africa (ECOWAS) Sub Region with Ghana Export Promotion Centre (GEPC) providing technical assistance.

The three houses were tasked to supply competitive products, have market access and have efficient and qualified management to oversee the affairs of their operations.

Mr Allan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade Industry and PSI, said the commitment of the private sector was critical to achieve the success of the initiative.

He explained that government was only facilitating the programme because it believed that the Export Trade Houses would enhance and expand the country's revenue base.

He said the initiative was designed by the past government as an important move to enhance export trade and generate revenue for development of the economy.

"The only difference was that we deemed it necessary to institutionalise it to enable SMEs to have control over the initiative."

Mr Kyeremanten said special Desks had been established at the Ministry to assist SMEs in addressing their difficulties and frustrations in assessing bank loans.

He stressed the need for both government and the private sector to approach the initiative as partners to achieve its aim.

Mr Dan Abodakpi, Former Minister of Trade and Industry, in a contribution, called for the establishment of Export Development Fund to expand the supply base of the businesses.

He said it was also important to allow the SMEs to be the shareholders of the three houses so that they could hold managers responsible for their actions and inactions.

Nana Prah Agyenseim IV, a Member of the Council of State, commended the organisers for the foresights and urged them not to corrupt the initiative to deprive the rightful people of benefiting from the programme.

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