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Business News of Friday, 4 November 2016

Source: B&FT Online

GEPA banks hopes on EXIM Bank

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The coming into being of the Export and Import Bank (EXIM Bank Ghana) will be a game changer in the country’s pursuit of an export-led economy, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), James Z. Tiigah, has said.

“It is going to help our exporters. We have very good exporters but they are challenged by the interest rate. They are normally priced out of the world market, so with the coming in of the EXIM Bank, they can get loans lower than the banking rates, depending on the product area or where we have an advantage.

In the area of interventions and looking at the interest rate, I think that the EXIM Bank will support the export sector to achieve its potential,” Mr. Tiigah told the B&FT at the 26th President’s National Awards for Export Achievement in Accra.

The establishment of the bank, he added, will undoubtedly provide the needed funding options for exporters to grow and sustain their businesses as it will provide facilities to help exporters to compete globally.

“Again, the bank will also provide guaranties because in international trading, you need an institution which can guarantee for you. It will also provide insurance. Sometimes, when you are sending your goods out, you need to insure them; the EXIM Bank will also provide that facility to help exporters,” he explained.

This year’s awards ceremony, themed ‘Celebrating Export Excellence,’ saw a total of 71 companies and individuals recognised for their export excellence in 2014 and 2015.

Niche Cocoa Industries Limited, a processor of cocoa products and producer of confectionery, emerged as the overall best Exporter of the Year, while Margaret Tweneboa-Boateng, Managing Director of Excel Industries Limited, was adjudged the best Woman Exporter of the Year.

The awards scheme is aimed at giving exporters an opportunity to gain valuable exposure and recognition for their national and global market expansion endeavours.

In 2015, the country’s total revenue from Non-Traditional Exports, a sector dominated by private actors, stood at US$2.522 billion, representing a meek growth over the previous year’s performance of US$2.514 billion.

A speech read on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama, assured stakeholders in the export sector of increased government support.

“We assure you earnestly that we will do all that is possible to reverse the plateauing tread to that of upward growth. Our continuing commitment to the growth of your business is demonstrable with many of the interventions we are injecting into your businesses with the objective of addressing the bottlenecks you encounter in your operations and eventually increase the country’s balance of trade.”

The Exim Bank, the President Mahama reiterated, will help diversify and expand the country’s export scope, specifically the production and export chain of high earning export products.

According to the President, the success recorded in the cashew industry, which returned US$211,327, a 56.9 percent increase over the 2014 export earnings of US$134,614, is worthy of commendation.

He said the EXIM Bank has provisions in place to further allow cashew farmers to expand their export.

In order to maximise earnings, the President added, “the government will encourage the processing of at least 50 percent of cashew nuts for export and operationalise the Cashew Development Strategy to increase production volumes and value-addition activities along the cashew nut value chain.”

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