Parliament
Parliament

Parliament has passed the Export Trade, Agriculture and Industrial Development Fund Bill to establish a fund for export trade and industrial development.

It will also provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade, agro-processing and industrial development.

The bill was laid before the House on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, and referred to the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism for consideration and report.

Background

The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) was established by the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), and it became operational in 2001 as an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The fund was initially established to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade by creating an innovative way of strengthening the financial independence of the country and reducing the dependency on the assistance from development partners.

The act was, however, amended in 2001 by the Export Development and Investment Fund (Amendment) Act, 2011 (Act 823), to expand the scope of application of the fund to include the development and promotion of agro-processing industry, hence the change of the name of the fund to EDAIF.

Even though the establisment of the fund was laudable, it had limitations, which necessitated a review of its set-up, structure and operations to remove the challenges and constraints in order to fulfil ?its purposes.

It has also become necessary to provide and expand a resource envelope readily available for the public and private sectors to build an internationally competitive export sector for sustainable export-led economic growth.

A major economic challenge of the Ghanaian private sector is access to and cost of credit. Therefore, a boost for the private sector will be the provision of ready access to credit and reduction in the cost of credit.

Significance of the fund

Ghana is already becoming an economic hub on the continent for export trade but the current revised bill will support exports within the agriculture sector with resources that enable project expansion.

The fund will further establish synergies with specialised institutions such as Exim Guarantee Company, the Export Finance Company and Venture Capital Trust to achieve its purpose and will have a presence in the regions through the regional offices and agencies of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Sources of money for the fund

The sources of the fund include levy on dutiable value import and 10 per cent of the net proceeds from divestiture carried out by the Divestiture Implementation Committee.

It will also include any other monies that the minister responsible for finance, in consultation with the Minister of Trade and Industry and with the approval of Parliament, will determine to be paid into the fund.

Uses of the fund

Monies generated by the fund will be paid into research development and promotion; credit facility; projects; equity finance; and operational accounts.

Motion

Moving the motion for the third reading of the bill, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Idrissu Haruna, thanked the House for its inputs to fine-tune the bill and pledged that the ministry would work hard to achieve the purpose for which it was promulgated.

Source Parliament House

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