The implementation of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) will require strong collaboration between key partners and players within the Non-Traditional Export Sector to set the country on the path of prosperity through industrialization.
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Herbert Krapa, said the successful execution of the NEDS, especially the intervention for the 17 priority products, would expedite the much-needed export development and set the country on the path of prosperity through industrialization.
The strategic goal of the NEDS is to significantly increase the country’s non-traditional export revenue from US$3 billion currently to over US$25 billion by the year 2029.
“The target before us is enormous and so are our opportunities. Without any doubt, GEPA has the capacity and what it takes to coordinate the implementation of the strategy with dexterity and poise and that is why the Ministry of Trade and Industry will continue to support GEPA so as to discharge the responsibility of implementing the strategy,” he said.
Mr Krapa was speaking at the inauguration of the NEDS Sector Committees, which is one of the key structures recommended in the Strategy.
He said the NEDS fitted into the government’s policy framework that will enable value addition, business expansion, and job creation as well as promote entrepreneur development of our youth and to accelerate the industrial transformation agenda by building import substitution, and export diversification.
“Export diversification is not enough, sophisticated and innovation have to be part of the export eco-system so that we are self-sustainable and able to drive the economy through export,”
He charged the sector groups, which have been categorized based on the priority products, to monitor the development strategy within these relevant sectors and provide feedback from the economic operators to GEPA.
“The sector groups on whose shoulders most of the responsibilities rest are the reasons for the meeting today. If we are going to drive the NEDS, then it has to be a bottom-up approach. That means the sector group involved in the day-to-day functioning of the various institutions would have to work and work well,” he said.
The formation of these groups will create a platform for knowledge sharing and experience on the priority products and encourage efforts toward the development and promotion of the respective product.
Currently, there is an inter-ministerial committee which supervises all the work that is going to be done and a steering committee, made up of 13 members drawn from institutions in the export trade value chain with the responsibility to consider and streamline project implementation and technical issues, and make recommendations to the inter-ministerial oversight committee.
He urged the committees to engage Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in an effort to boost export development and to collaborate and work together to avoid overlapping and duplication of effort.
In remarks read on her behalf by Dr Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer Ghana Export Promotion Authority said the work of the Committees would be very critical to the successful implementation of the Strategy.
She said the committees would be expected to provide the necessary guidance, advice and expertise as well as concrete implementation actions within their sectoral value chains based on the various interventions outlined in the NEDS.
“We have always said that the NEDS is not for the Ministry of Trade and Industry or GEPA alone, but a national strategy which all of you assisted in formulating. It is only logical that all of us are responsible for its implementation and therefore will take the credit when we succeed in attaining the primary goal of the Strategy.”
Dr Asare said exports were critical in the country’s economic development and it was important to ensure the growth of export revenues.
“Indeed, it is for this reason that the strategic goal of the NEDS is to significantly increase our non-traditional export revenue from US$3 billion currently to over US$25 billion by the year 2029,” she added.