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Ghana Looks To Neighbouring Nigeria To Boost Export Trade

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) plans to create a ?Ghana market? in one of the neighbourhoods in Lagos, Nigeria, to showcase Ghanaian products.

This is one strategy the GEPA hopes to use to penetrate the Nigerian market and not annual events or fairs.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Mr Gideon Kwame Boye Quarcoo, who disclosed this, said GEPA hoped to hit a US$5 billion non-traditional export revenue target by 2017, from the current figure of US$2.4 billion.

He said GEPA was upbeat about Ghana?s export prospects but feared that accessing the European Union markets could hinder the country?s potential because of standard restrictions by the European Union.

He noted that the situation required a lot of innovative programmes with the view to maximising the growth potentials in existing markets, as well as identifying and developing new ones.

GEPA recently won an award from the Nigerian Government for being the best participating country in the Lagos Fair, but is currently struggling with other agencies and exporters for funding from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund, thus stifling its activities.

So far, the authority has achieved US$2.4 billion export revenue in non-traditional exports and hopes to double that figure by 2017.

Nigeria, with a population of about 150 million and a relatively large middle-income class, is the biggest market within the ECOWAS sub-region and therefore presents opportunities for Ghana?s NTEs.

Out of the total national non-traditional exports of US$2.364 billion in 2012, exports to Nigeria constituted about US$144.84 million.

?All things being equal, our exports to Nigeria should rise to US$306 million if GEPA is to achieve its objective of US$5 billion by the year 2017,? Mr Quarcoo said.

GEPA, which recently sponsored 56 companies to participate in the 2013 Lagos International Trade Fair, was hailed by the Nigerian Government for being the largest and best participating country.

According to Mr Quarcoo, Ghanaian products enjoyed high patronage and goodwill from Nigerians at the fair.

Products such as aluminium utensils, garments, cocoa products, herbal preparations, cleaning products, toiletries, handicrafts and alcoholic beverages, among others, were highly patronised by the Nigerians.

As a follow-up to the Lagos Fair, the Ghana-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce is being revived to champion trade between the countries.

That, Mr Quarcoo said, would be the platform to discuss trade matters in each other?s country.

Source: Daily Graphic


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