Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) fetched the country 1.2 billion dollars last year compared to 892 million dollars in 2006. This represents a 30.5 per cent increase over 2006.

The figure brings NTE contribution to 27.7 per cent of the country’s total exports of 4.2 billion dollars.

The growth was achieved on the back of earnings from three main sub-sectors; agriculture, processed and semi-processed products and handicrafts.
Cocoa paste, canned tuna, veneer, cocoa butter, sheanuts and pineapples are among the 10 leading NTE products exported.

“We are on course and our ability to cross the psychological one billion-dollar mark is proof that the strategy we have drawn up is working,” Mr Collins Boateng, Executive Secretary, of Ghana Export Promotion Council, said.

He was speaking at a press briefing to present the 2007 export performance report. The GEPC Council set the one billion-dollar target in its NTE growth strategy some three years ago.

Mr Boateng attributed the performance to enhanced market access programmes for exporting companies, product diversification, aggressiveness of Ghanaian exporters and enhanced data capture through the GCNET system.

The European Union and ECOWAS remained the major destination of NTEs, accounting for 46.55 per cent and 31.36 per cent respectively of the exports. Other African countries, developed countries and emerging economies hold the remaining share.

The leading markets include the United Kingdom, France, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo and United States.

At the regional level, Nigeria has become a prominent NTEs market in the ECOWAS sub-region.

Mr Boateng said GEPC was adopting various measures to develop the ECOWAS sub-regional market.

While acknowledging the impressive growth in the NTE sector, Mr Boateng said there was the need for increased funding if the sector was to meet its projection of four billion dollars in revenue by 2010.

On the outlook for 2008, GEPC plans to establish a marketing company to address the marketing problems of small holder farmers and thereby address supply side constraints, mainstream Trade in Services into NTE statistics and strengthening institutional capacity of the Council.

“The aggressive implementation of above program with funding support from Export Development and Investment Fund should enable achievement of NTE value of 1.5 billion dollars by December 2008,” Mr Boateng added.

There are over 383 different non-traditional export products categorized into agricultural, processed/semi-processed and handicrafts.

The GEPC had a base of over 3,000 registered private sector exporting companies organized into 15 product associations.

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