Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, has stressed the importance of export trade to the country’s socio-economic development, saying “it is the best way to grow Ghana's economy.”
Speaking at the President's National Awards for Export Achievement, organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Kyeremanten believed export is one of the means to generate enough foreign exchange to support the cedi.
The event themed: 'Fifty years of service to Ghana's export sector: rewarding excellence,' saw 55 Ghanaian companies and individuals recognised for their performance in the export trade in 2017 and 2018.
The awards were instituted to appreciate the contribution of exporters in the non-traditional export (NTE) sector to economic growth and to encourage higher levels of performance by exporters among others.
Mr Kyeremanten also indicated that high production and improved quality of our products is significant to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian products on the international market.
Revenues from the National Stock Exchange (NTE) sector rose 10.05 per cent in 2018 to $2.813 billion compared to $2.556 billion in 2017.
The Minister said the NTE target of $3.2 billion for 2019 is achievable through efforts of the GEPA, and the resilience of the economic climate.
Touching on challenges, Mr Kyeremanten said the market restrictions on some vegetable exports by the European Union market and Nigeria's border closure were some of the key challenges.
He said while the export restrictions on most of the vegetables had been lifted government was working with the Nigerian authorities to resolve the issues.
The Minister attributed the vibrant performance of GEPA to very strong leadership, saying the achievement of the superlative performance was not by chance.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, commended the exporters for their hard work which had contributed to export revenues realised in 2018.
''It is only fair that we attribute some of the successes to you because it is your courage, resilience and hard work that contribute to building Ghana,'' she said.
She said GEPA’s new 10-year National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), the blueprint for the consistent and concentrated development of Ghana's export, which had been completed and implementation expected to begin in 2020 once approved would move export revenue to 10 billion dollars by 2028.
Board Chairman of GEPA, Sandy Osei Agyemang, added that recent successes at the Authority had been achieved on the back of cumulative leadership, that is the involvement of past chief executives of GEPA in the activities and programmes of the Authority.
The Exporter of the Year award for 2018 went to Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO), and that of 2017 went to Wilmar Africa Limited.
The Woman Exporter of the Year for 2017 went to Rose Mensah of Ernimich Co. Ltd. exporters of Gari, melon seed and spices while Emelia Adjei Ohene-Kena, of Royal Crown Packaging Ltd., exporters of articles of printing and printed matter won the 2018 Woman Exporter of the Year.
HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, took the Most Diversified Exporter of the Year award for both years.
Other winners include Avnash Industries Ghana Limited, B5 Plus Limited and Dasoa Company Limited.