Ghana is to deepen its trade relations with countries in the Middle East to expand the frontiers of Ghana exports, especially the non-traditional exports, in the region.
Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry in an address at a Ghana Business Forum, at the ongoing Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo (MENOPE 2015) in Dubai, said the Middle East is of paramount importance to the government as an attractive destination for Ghanaian exports.
The business forum, which was to showcase the investment opportunities in Ghana, was on the theme: “Promoting Quality Products to Maximise Market Opportunities.”
The Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said revenue from non-traditional exports from Ghana to the Middle East had seen steady increase in recent years.
In 2014, Ghana realised $21.119 million from exports to the United Arab Emirates, an increase from the $17.9 million realised in 2013.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said the country is poised to improve on the performance and further increase its value of exports to the UAE with the establishment of an office of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce in Ghana, and through the implementation of the National Export Strategy.
He said government would provide the necessary investment and assistance to the private sector, including producers and exporters to boost supply and obtain relevant certification to sustain and boost participation in the ever evolving market.
He said Ghana is convinced that the forum would ensure the building of sustainable relationships not only between individual companies but also between our countries.
Mr Gideon Quarcoo, the Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, said there are many export business opportunities in the non-traditional export sector and urged the investors to take advantage of the stable political environment, adherence to market liberalisation and strategic facilities.
In addition, GEPA is working with other institutions to mainstream professional services such as information and communication technology into the NTEs export portfolio.
He said the NTE sector had generally grown in diversification, volume and values and added that products are produced according to Global Cap standards.
Captain Robert Tindana (Rtd), a Board member of the Export Development Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF), said EDAIF would continue to support exporters to expand and to improve on their packaging to meet demands in the international market.
He said EDAIF has been trying as much as possible to spread into all the 10 regions to facilitate easy processing of funds for exporters.
“We have not only credit but grants where we realise that the exporter needs a grant then we give and many people are benefiting from it,” he said.
However, Capt Tindana said the lack of knowledge about the application processes could make access to the funds by some exporters difficult.
Twelve Ghanaian exhibitors are participating in the three-day event being held from November 2 November 4, which is expected to attract more than 4,000 visitors and featuring more than 120 companies, including 75 international exhibitors.
The exhibitors are showcasing products such as Shea butter, dried fruits, black soap, moringa and hibiscus tea as well as cocoa powder and honey.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is coordinating the participation of the Ghanaian companies
It is the first time Ghana is taking part in the MENOPE, the only one exhibition in the region for natural and organic products. GNA