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Let’s Be Aggressive In Promoting Exports – Economist   
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The promotion of Ghana’s exports sector should not be left solely on the Ministry of Trade and Industry, since any genuine effort to increase exports should be multi-sectoral, Economist and Senior Lecturer at the University of CapeCoast (UCC), Dr John Gatsi has stated.

According to him, “there is an agricultural sector aspect of it, there is tourism and foreign affairs and other areas that must be roped into to any such strategy to give us the desired impact.” 

The country between 2013 and 2014 spent $900million to cover the importation of food items which can be produced locally.

Ghana recorded deficit in trade of US$2,340.3 million for the first nine months of 2015, up from US$710.7 million recorded during the same period in 2014.

The deficit more than doubled to $1559.7million in the last quarter of December 2015 from $676million same period in 2014.

Calling for innovation in the country’s hospitality industry Dr Gatsi said too boost the contribution of the  tourism sector to the economy , those involved in the hospitality industry should see how they can re-package or re-do the Ghanaian traditional  dishes to meet continental tastes.

An examination of the balance of trade deficit shows a trend in favour of high importation of foods that can be produced locally and as such the hospitality industry could be supported to go beyond what they are doing presently.

Ghana’s Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has so far succeeded n informing exporters about international requirements however its agenda has remained premised on the old mission of export promotion.

Beyond the export promotion, there is the need to identify markets across the West African region and the rest African and export products from Ghana.

“That should be an added strategy of the GEPA which we are not seeing much,” Dr Gatsi noted.

A lot of research has been done even on agriculture by the CSIR but the country has failed to treat the research findings and the research institutions as investment for which their output should be felt within the economy.

According to him, “sometimes, even people from outside Ghana come to buy the research findings t go and re-shape and put on the market.”

Source: The Finder

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