AS part of its export development strategy, Ghana will continue to harness existing and potential opportunities to grow its export base in the non-traditional export sector (NTEs).
One of such opportunities to be leveraged is the hosting of the secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), and also winning the bid to host the World Trade Promotion Organisation conference (WTPO), in 2020.
The Director, Marketing and Promotion at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mrs Agnes Gifty Adjei-Sam, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said GEPA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), would continue to implement the new National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) to grow the sector.
She spoke to the Daily Graphic during the International Handicraft Week (SIAB 2019) in Grand Bassam in Cote d’Ivoire. The theme for Ghana’s participation was: “Celebrating Ghanaian Culture and Business Opportunities.”
Specifically, she said a key focus would be the handicraft sector which had not seen much growth, so the AfCTA and the WTPO were platforms that offered goodwill to products from Ghana.
She urged Ghanaian exporters to take advantage of the budding environment to market their products to contribute to economic development.
The NTE sector in Ghana consists of three main sub-sectors, namely: agriculture, processed/semi-processed, and industrial art & craft sub-sectors.
Among the three, handicrafts records the least earnings currently, and, therefore, GEPA said it had put in a strategy to grow the sector and mentioned Ghana’s participation at the third SIAB as one of the strategies.
“We have come here with over 20 exhibitors to market their products and to introduce them to foreign buyers.
We believe our participation here will also help to develop our products and ensure that we access other international markets such as the New York big show and Birmingham creative craft show.
We hope this will help increase our craft earnings in Ghana,” Mrs Adjei-Sam said.
Products classified under the handicraft category include: basket-ware, ceramic products, traditional musical instruments, hides and skins, batik/tie and dye, nativity sets, beads and beaded items, pottery, leatherwork and paintings.
The Chief Executive Officer of Matamiss Pottery, one of the Ghanaian companies that exhibited at the fair, Nana Kwame Addo, said the fair had been an awesome platform for them to market their products.
“We have practically sold out. We have actually received orders and they are asking us to come for more,” he said.
NTE sector performance
NTE earnings in 2017 amounted to US$ 2.557 billion, representing 3.81 per cent increase over the 2016 performance of US$ 2.463 billion.
The biggest earner in the NTE portfolio is the processed/semi-processed sub-sector. It contributed US$ 2.105 billion (82.35 per cent) to the whole NTE basket.
This was followed by the agricultural sub-sector and then the industrial art and craft sub-sector.