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Business News of Thursday, 2 October 2014

Source: GNA

Exporters to be awarded for their excellence

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) on Wednesday says its 24th National Awards for Export Achievement would be held on Friday October 17, at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra.

The institution of the Awards scheme in 1989 was a deliberate platform created by the government to stimulate growth of the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector, cushion earnings from primary and unprocessed traditional export products and bridge the country’s trade balance deficit among other things.

Mr Gideon Boye Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Export Promotion Authority, said aware of the immense role foreign exchange plays in the country’s economic development and the fact that many of the NTE actors are Small and Medium Enterprises from the private sector, it was hoped that the award would boost their confidence and credentials to expand their activities.

The awards, he said, specifically aims at formally recognising the contribution of exporters in the NTE sector to the economic prosperity of Ghana, commend exporters for exporting quality products and for breaking new grounds, encourage higher levels of performance by exporters, sustain the interest of exporters in the export trade, as well as raise and sustain export consciousness among Ghanaians in general.

Mr Quarcoo said the selection of awardees was being done by an independent Inter-Institutional committee made up of representatives from institutions including Ministry of Trade and Industry, Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund, Bank of Ghana and Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters.

There was also Ghana Community Network Services, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Revenue Authority – Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division and the GEPA.

He said the selection of award winners begins with the shortlist of exporters with minimum export earnings of $250,000 as captured on the Ghana Export Form, there must be data on repatriation of export earnings provided by exporters bankers in cash and or evidence by exporter in kind, while companies in product group shortlisted would be based on a minimum export value equivalent to 30 per cent of the highest performer’s value in that group.

The awards categories include the Exporter of the Year, which would be conferred on the company with the highest export earnings, Woman exporter of the year which would also be conferred on the female exporter with export proceeds exceeding $500,000 and has repatriated in cash or in kind at least 75 per cent of exported amount.

Other categories are Gold, Platinum, Silver, Most Diversified, Innovative Product of the year as well as some honorary and Export Services awards.

He more than one thousand companies and facilitating institutions had received recognition since its institution and companies use the award as an effective marketing tool to gain credibility globally for more export orders and to access finance.

It had also become a motivating drive to increase export earnings in quality and quantity, and hoped this would improve the economy and strengthen the cedi against the major trading currencies.

He called for local promotion and patronage of made-in-Ghana products and services.

Mr Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry commended the GEPA for sustaining the event over the years and pledged government’s support towards the promotion and achievement of excellence in the import and export trade sector.

A cheque for GH? 9,000 was presented by the United Bank for Africa to the GEPA to support the awards ceremony.

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