Ghana: Manufacturers urged to increase exports to benefit from AGOA

Dr. Tom Herlely, Chief of Party, West Africa Trade Hub (WATH), has called on businesses to increase their exports to enable them

benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative.

Dr Herlely, who was speaking at the 527th monthly meeting of the Accra Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday in Accra said there was the need for African economies to diversify their export commodities if they were to reap the full benefits of AGOA.

He said currently, while Ghana had cocoa as the leading export commodity, oil dominated the commodities that sub-Saharan African countries exported to the United States of America.

Dr Herlely said the WATH had been engaged in connecting companies to their counterparts elsewhere to enable them boost their output levels.

He said the WATH was working with ECOWAS and the private sector to complete the Common External Tariff (CET) system, which would enable member countries to charge equal tariffs on exports.

With presence in 21 African countries and a Gross Domestic Product of US$350 million, the WATH is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded initiative and it engages in research for companies within the West African sub-region.

Nana Kusi Appiah, Managing Director of the Ghana Supply Company Limited (GSCL), said the company had entered into partnership with international procurement agencies to enable it to become the choice provider of procurement and logistics services in the West African sub-region.

On his part, Mr Clifford Mettle, Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), said the bank would soon begin to operate the Vigo Money Transfer Services to enable customers to receive money everywhere.

He said the NIB had been transformed from the normal transactional banking methods to a relationship banking system to enable it to have a better understanding of the needs of its customers.