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Jun 14, 2018 | Business & Finance

EXIM Bank Supports Gov’t Transformation Agenda

By Daily Guide
Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO, Ghana Exim Bank
Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO, Ghana Exim Bank

The Ghana Export Import (EXIM) Bank is strategically empowering the private sector through various support programmes to help make businesses more competitive to contribute to the attainment of the 'Ghana Beyond Aid' agenda.

As a development institution with focus on export-led financing, the bank has since its establishment in 2016 supported investors and companies in selected areas of the economy with low cost funds to retool, improve their operational efficiencies and produce exportable goods.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana EXIM Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, said in an interview that all these were aligned to the government's 10-point agenda for industrial transformation.

The bank's strategy also focuses on developing specific sectors such as garment and apparel manufacturing, raw material base development for avocado, cashew, oil palm and cassava, he said.

“Ultimately, the Ghana EXIM Bank seeks to support the private sector with a view to improving the country's economic fortunes.

“Therefore, in choosing enterprises it will support, Ghana EXIM Bank considers three key benchmarks, which are derived from development instead of commercial objectives. These are employment creation, value addition through production efficiency and foreign exchange revenue potential.

As the national EXIM bank, Mr Agyinsam said Ghana EXIM Bank is the main financial driver behind the government's flagship district industrialisation programme (DIP), the One District, One Factory (1D1F) Initiative.

The initiative seeks to accelerate Ghana's industrialisation and socio-economic development.

It is anticipated that the programme will empower entrepreneurs by giving them access to market for their output and also create jobs for the teeming youth.

So far, Mr Agyinsam said the EXIM Bank had approved GH¢417 million to support Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) under the above-mentioned initiative.

“Coordination between the 1D1F Secretariat and the bank ensures that regional balance, project viability, availability of infrastructure and the corporate governance structure of each potential company is considered before each project is appraised by the bank,” he said.

5-year plan
He explained that the bank's five-year strategic goals (2017-2022) were to increase revenue from non-traditional exports (NTEs) from the current average of US$2.4 billion to US$5 billion, develop crops such as avocado and cashew into major export products, reduce the nation's import bill for poultry by US$300 million to become a key finance partner for effective implementation of government initiatives such as 1D1F and complement the effort of exporters, making Ghana a strong pillar regionally and globally, for example, in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Strategic partnerships
Mr Agyinsam said the bank is interested in building its own capacity to be able to serve the country better.

As a result, he said it has so far collaborated with USAID, EXIM Bank of India, Korea EXIM, Turkey EXIM, Afrexim Bank, US EXIM Bank, China EXIM Bank.

Other partnerships include Berne Union, G-NEXID, SACE of Italy, AADFI, CDC of Canada, Credit Suisse and UKEF.

He explained that while some of the collaborations covered technical assistance, some involved financial support.

He said the AFREXIM and US EXIM collaborations were aimed at financially supporting the bank's operations and the 1D1F respectively.

Varied projects
Projects funded by the bank included three poultry projects in the Ashanti Region with GH¢ 39.4 million funding.

It's billed to create 747 jobs with expected revenue (import substitution) of GH¢18.8 million.

There are also three pineapple plantation projects at Ekumfi, Komenda and West Akyem with funding of GH¢102.9 million.

About 5,385 jobs would be created with expected revenue of GH¢51.1 million.

Another project for sweet potatoes cultivation is located in the Gomoa West District, with funding of GH¢14.4 million.

The project, which is expected to create 970 jobs, would rake in GH¢24.8 million.

There are also three projects on cassava in the Eastern, Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions with funding totalling GH¢74.7 million, with 11,200 jobs billed to be created. Expected revenue is GH¢387.7 million.

An avocado project has been sited at Suhum District with GH¢44.3 million.

About 5,000 jobs could be created with GH¢575 million in expected revenue.

Under cashew, there are two projects at Tema, Abelemkpe and Sampa, with funding totalling GH¢21 million and 2,403 jobs to be created.

Expected revenue is GH¢14.1 million.
There is also a brick and tiles project in the Tanoso District with funding of GH¢50 million and some 1,000 jobs to be created.

A fertilizer manufacturing project is also included.

It is located at Tema with funds totalling GH¢47 million and promises to rake in revenue of GH¢96.82 million.

Also, there are seven projects under pharmaceutical manufacturing to be located in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions with funding totalling GH¢132 million.

About 3,095 jobs are to be created while revenue expected is GH¢904.75 million.

So far, EXIM Bank has approved GH¢417 million to support Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) under the government's key programmes aimed at industrialising the country's economy.

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