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Ghana: ĎEstablish one-stop-shop for export documentationíThursday, July 24, 2014 > 09:43:23
Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL) is urging government to partner with the private sector to set up what it described as an exporters house that will serve as a one-stop shop for the processing of all export documents.
The move, it said, should bring together the relevant units of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Innovation under one umbrella to concurrently process export documents to ease the stress on exporters.
The Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of Kasapreko, Mr Kojo Nunoo, said in an interview that the current system where exporters had to walk to the seperate offices of the said institutions to get their exports checked and documents processed was too laborious and costly to the export business.
"There should be one office with people who know the requirements to export to a particular company so that those people can assist the exporters to get those documents to accompany their goods and not the current system where the agencies are spread throughout Accra," Mr Nunoo said on July 12.
The DMD of Kasapreko spoke to the paper ahead of the GRAPHIC BUSINESS-Fidelity Bank Breakfast Meeting held on July 15 in Accra. The meeting was an initiative of the GRAPHIC BUSINESS, the country's most influential business and financial weekly newspaper, and Fidelity Bank aimed at creating a platform for policy dialogue.
It was on the theme: Maximising value of exports to improve Ghana's trade balance and brought together former and current ministers of Trade and Industry, major exporters and stakeholders in the export business to deliberate on the topic.
Beyond boosting the capacities of local industries to produce for export, Mr Nunoo said government policies should also aim at correcting certain trade imbalances that could easily make Ghana an import-dependent country. He explained that such measures should mirror those implemented by export driven countries such as China and South Africa. Such policies should make it difficult for imports to compete with local produce.
"We should avoid the situation where it is easier for people to bring their goods here than for us to send our goods to them. A case in point is South Africa, where their tariffs and excise duties is over 160 per cent as compared to ours which is around 25 per cent. In this case, it's easier for them to export their wines, whiskies, among others, here than it is for us to export to them," he said.
Kasapreko, which distils herbal-sourced bitters for the local and export market, is currently the reigning exporter of the year. That honour was bestowed on the company by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA). It earned about US$19.48 million from the export of its products, including the flagship Alomo Bitters, to neighbouring countries, Europe and Asia in 2012.
In addition to the various policy initiatives that government could use to stimulate growth in exports, Mr Nunoo said the creation of a one-stop shop for export documentation would also lessen the burden of exporters as they process their documents and could lure more people into the trade.
"Trust me, there are some people in this country who have goods to export but they don't even know where to start from. So if there is something like exporters house, then these people can easily get there and seek guidance on what to do and subsequently become exporters. Remember, the key thing about increasing earnings is about increasing the products themselves, no matter how small from a single exporter," he added.