Accra, Aug. 15, GNA – The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) are to explore ways to deepen their relationship to enhance trade between the two countries.
At a meeting between officials of the two institutions in Accra, they agreed to seek ways to combine their strengths to promote exports of goods and services between the two countries and within the West African sub-region.
As a first step, the two institutions will revisit an old Memorandum of Understanding signed between them with the view of reviewing it to suit current situations.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr James Tiigah, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said there were many areas in which Ghana, Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region could collaborate for increased trade.
However, he said, there was the urgent need to abide by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols which were to facilitate trade among countries in the region.
Mr Tiigah said the so many barriers, in gross disrespect of the ECOWAS protocols, had hampered trade in volume and value among the countries in the sub-region and there was the need to break down those barriers and eliminate the human factor.
Nigeria has for many years banned the importation of some products including palm oil and gari from Ghana in spite of various trade liberalisation policies in the sub-region.
Mr Tiigah noted that the Authority is currently implementing the National Export Strategy with focus on 11 products, majority of which are in the agriculture sector, to boost export revenues and enhance the contribution of the non-traditional export sector to the development of the economy.
He said GEPA had also embarked on a baseline study to know where the producers were and working on traceability of the supply chain as well as developing a market portal to make all trade information available.
Mr Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, said Nigeria was similarly going through an institutional review of its strategic vision with the view to diversifying the economy away from oil.
In this direction, each state is being required to identify one key export product that would be developed and promoted.
Mr Awolowo said funding and incentives to exporters were critical to ensuring success in the export drive and these were being actively looked at to achieve set goals.
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