Ghana Shippers’ Authority Holds 6th Stakeholders Forum in Tamale

The Ghana Shippers’ Authority has held the sixth 6th Stakeholders forum in the northern regional capital Tamale.

The forum which was held on Thursday, 12th March, 2020 at the Radach Lodge and Conference Centre was on the theme ” Overcoming Trade Barriers To Enhance Exports in the Northern Sector : The Role of Stakeholders”.

In her welcome remarks read on her behalf, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Ms. Benonita Bismarck stated that the forum seeks to engage with exporters on some of their critical needs and efforts made by the GSA in addressing the challenges they encounter in the supply since the year began.

According to the CEO, the forum will also help put in place proper perspective how stakeholders add to exports, creating a competitive advantage for the exporter and fulfilling the buyers requirements.

Speaking about the impact of export on the Ghanaian economy, Ms. Benonita Bismarck noted that export activities generate foreign exchange, revenue for government, create employment, boost industrial activity and ultimately contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the country (GDP).

She however acknowledged that, Ghana’s economy benefited less than it potentially can in this area, especially with regards to gains in the export of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs), which she attributed to the over-reliance on export of raw materials, low of value addition to raw materials and the apparent neglect or low levels export of these Non-Traditional Exports due to some challenges facing the exporters.

According to her, government is making efforts to transform the country’s economy from a raw material exporting one to a high value-added industrialized economy through its industrial transformation agenda.

Ms. Benonita Bismarck disclosed that an appreciable surge in export trade volume was recorded in 2019.

“The trade volume for January to September 2019 dropped by 2.2 compare to the same period in 2018. However, exporters saw an increase of 25.8% over the same period as compared to last year”. She revealed.

Although the figures presented indicates growth in the export sector, Ms. Benonita Bismarck believes there is more room for improvement.

In the area of infrastructure, the CEO revealed that her outfit has developed projects such as warehouses in Tema and in other areas which are at various stages of development, intended to aid in the facilitation of transport logistic in both export and import value chain.

"The Boankra Inland ports for example, will link the ports of Tema and Takoradi to the Inner part of the country and our neighbouring landlocked countries. The aim is to ease congestion in Ghana seaports and thus facilitate the transit trade".Ms. Benonita Bismarck added.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Exporters and Importers have made a passionate call on the Ghana customs authority, Ghana revenue authority, Ghana Police service and Ghana shippers' authority to help them create barrier in aflao in the Volta Region to zabzugu in the northern part of the country.

Speaking at the forum, the Ghana Police service gave an assurance to help fight crime in export business in the north and also advised importers and exporters in the country to transport legal goods rather than illegal goods into or outside the country.

Stakeholders at the forum were drawn from the Ghana Police Service, the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Export Import Bank as well as representatives in the industry who are well versed in their respective fields to address some of the challenges mentioned. /Alhassan Ibrahim

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