The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry has targeted to increase exports to the United States from the current 14 percent to over 24 percent in eight years.
Officials expect members to take full advantage of the Agric Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative to achieve the objective.
Beneficiary countries are entitled to export over 6,400 products quota and duty-free to the United States.
The Africa-US bilateral arrangement encourages export-led growth to enhance trade and economic potential of sub-Saharan African countries.
Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber, Mark Adu Aboagy, is optimistic the target can be achieved.
“The opportunity is there for over 6, 000 product but we are exporting less than 100, it means we are not taking advantage. A lot of exporters are not even aware of these individual products [so] we need to bring it to their attention.
“Currently, we import almost everything which puts pressure on our currency and foreign revenue we are not taking advantage,” he said.
According to him, together with the trades ministry and government, in a matter of five years, they expect Ghana’s revenue from export to exceed imports.
“You just can’t take up your product and export to the US because of AGOA. You must produce at acceptable export standards, and quality.
“It is a very competitive market so you should be able to produce at a competitive price, the quality that is acceptable and delivery must be on point”, he adds.
AGOA has been extended by ten years, from 2015 to 2025.
A sensitisation workshop on AGOA has been held in Kumasi to build the capacity of exporters.
It was organised by the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and U.S Agency for International Development West Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
One of the participants, Solomon Mensah, highlights challenges to meeting internationally quality standards and indicates that developing local products for export will help stimulate economic growth.
“It is worrying when you produce and get ready for export but your goods get rejected due to international standards [regulations]. We must be assisted to meet these requirements,” he admonishes.
Ghana looks to increase non-traditional export earnings from 2.4 billion dollars in 2016 to 5 billion dollars by 2021.
Ashanti Regional Trade and Industry Officer, Mahmuda Ousman, says developing local export products could increase Ghana’s industrialisation as firms would have expanded to add value to raw materials for export to create more jobs for our people.
In view of this, the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry has launched the National Export Strategy which seeks to ensure that each district in Ghana specialises in at least one exportable product in the country.
The strategy, according to, Mr. Ousman, will also ensure the establishment of district export committees to provide support services, information of AGOA and market access to exporters.
He added that the ministry is also putting in place a clear implementation plan in relation to the government’s ten points agenda for industrial transformation to increase Ghana’s export earnings by diversifying exports to the international market, including to the U.S market.