Slovenia, the third fastest growing economy in the European Union has committed to set Ghana aside as a special trade partner in the coming months.
The announcement was made at the maiden Ghana-Slovenia business summit which has seen a delegation of Slovene investors engage the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) on business and investment opportunities in the non-traditional export sector.
State Secretary for the Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dobran Bozic tells JoyBusiness the decision to explore investment opportunities in Ghana is a strategic one.
“I hope this is the future for the Ghanaian economy. This is an opportunity for Ghana to be one of the leading nations on the continent for green energy. The stable political landscape and sound macroeconomic fundamentals are enough for investments and we are confident of mutual benefit,” he stated.
Meanwhile, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Afua Asabea Asare said the coming on board of these Slovene investors will help expand the country’s export margins.
“We’re helping each other; we’re looking at where we can mutually collaborate to work. So far, they have expressed interest in cocoa and cashew and we hope to see how the business engagements will yield the needed economic margins,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority is confident of meeting its 2021 target for non-traditional exports pegged at $5.3 billion.
Ms Asare said strategies were put in place to meet the target. She said while it was not going to be an easy task to double earnings in the next three years, GEPA was putting in place interventions in order to meet the target within the stipulated period.
“It is not going to be a simple task but we are sure the plans to scale up production of the NTE products such as cashew, mangoes, and vegetables would work for us to meet the goal,” she said.
GEPA has developed a 10-year development plan for cashew production, which includes value addition and has also committed GH¢4.2 million to secure 15 million suckers of pineapple for planting.
There is also the programme to introduce a pilot mass spraying and distribution of grafted cashew seedlings to farmers in Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region.
GEPA has also undertaken extensive consultations with all metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to identify at least one crop from each district to be developed for export in line with government’s industrialization agenda.
Ms Asabea Asare said all the interventions were expected to boost revenues in the next few years to enable GEPA to meet the target.
Earnings from NTEs amounted to $2.6 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 3.81 per cent over $2.5 billion in 2016.
The NTEs currently contributes 18.37 per cent to the total national merchandise exports of the country.
Ms Asabea Asare, who was on hand on Tuesday to mark Ghana Day at the SIAO Fair, described Ghana’s participation in the fair as a success.
This year’s edition, which also coincides with the 30th-anniversary celebration since the institution of the fair, is on the theme: “African Handicrafts, Market Requirements and Technological Development.”
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