The government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, will be launching a policy document to regulate the export business, facilitate export competitiveness in the sub region and ensure that the manufacturing sector stays competitive.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh, made this known in Accra last week, when launching the 2011 Non-Traditional Export Performance and 2011 National Awards for Export Achievement.
For the second time running, earnings from the non-traditional export sector exceeded set target, 2010 earnings exceeded set target by 12.3% rising from US$1.45 billion to US$1.629 billion, 2011 export earnings exceeded set target by 33%, rising from US$1.8 billion to US$ 2.423 billion.
The sector continues to be driven by value added products, such as cocoa and timber products.
Although the country continues to export more products in their raw form, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has placed greater emphasis on opening up industries and refurbishing closed ones, which have become the driving force for the increased export of industrial products with strong supply base for raw materials.
Commenting on the performance of the company, the minister noted, ?I am a strong advocate of harnessing internal strength to take advantage of close opportunities. I say this in relation to accessing export markets nearer to us and within more easy reach this is why my focus for the sector has been to take advantage of the ECOWAS market which hold immense opportunities for sustainable growth of our exports and trade in general.?
She said through the participation of Ghana in trade fairs, market missions and solo exhibitions, the country?s share of the ECOWAS market is growing and it has also afforded many SMEs, particularly those in the creative arts industry, an opportunity for increased trade with their counterparts in the sub region.
Besides that, it also presents less stringent market requirements in comparison with the European Union, Asian and US markets.
She stressed that, in order to maximize the benefits of ECOWAS trade, Ghana must complete negotiations at achieving a customs union, single currency and secure full implementation of ECOWAS protocols, particularly the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS).
She said one of the main challenges in the ECOWAS trade is the easy movement of people and goods.
The Trade minister also announced that the World Bank has approved a US$90 million grant to finance the Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project that will reduce trade and transportation barriers within the sub region.
The project in La Cote d?Ivoire is the second phase of a regional programme, including Ghana, Togo and Benin, that will finance trade and transport facilitation activities along the 130-kilometre coastal corridor in Cote d?Ivoire, as well as trade facilitation reforms in customs and in the port of Abidjan.