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President Mahama Raises Level of Export AwardsThursday, October 23, 2014 > 12:00:50
President John Dramani Mahama has raised the National Awards for Export Achievement programme to a national awards scheme in recognition of exporters' contribution to the country's economy.
The awards now to be known as the 'President's National Awards for Export Achievement' will be celebrated to the level of other national awards such as the National Farmers Day.
In an address delivered on his behalf at the 24th National Awards for Export Achievement, President Mahama recommended the 3rd Friday in October every year to be dedicated to the recognition of exporters.
"Just like our farmers and teachers and other groups in the country, our exporters are key contributors to our economic development. I believe our exporters and export facilitating agencies in Ghana deserve the recognition," he said in a speech read by Ekwow Spio-Grabrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry.
The awards,instituted in 1989, is an initiative to acknowledge and encourage outstanding achievement in the export sector and to formally recognise the contribution of exporters in the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector to economic development.
It is also to commend exporters for exporting quality products and for breaking new grounds; to encourage higher levels of performance by exporters; to sustain the interest of exporters in the export trade; and to raise and sustain export consciousness among Ghanaians in general.
President Mahama lauded the contribution of the exporters to keep the country's balance of payment healthy in the face of challenges.
He said the Economic Partnership Agreement and other free trade deals that the country was seeking to conclude with the European Union and partners around the globe would grant access to exporters and make them more competitive.
President Mahama said government was creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, including strengthening key trade promotion institutions such as the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund and other trade promotion agencies to make them more productive and SME exporter friendly.
He urged the exporters to explore and take advantage of favourable protocol in the ECOWAS market as it has the capacity to absorb made in Ghana products.
Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer GEPA said the Authority was collaborating with other institutions to address supply side constraints being faced by the export sector.
He said GEPA had also assisted a number of export companies to participate in international trade fairs in Europe, Asia and Africa to expand Ghana's market presence in Germany, Cote d'Ivoire, Turkey and China.
Categories of Award winners included Special Honorary, Gold, Platinum, silver, Most Diversified Exporter, Export Services, Woman Exporter of the year and Exporter of the year.
Niche Cocoa Industry Limited was adjudged the Exporter of the Year while Mrs Margaret Tweneboa-Boateng, of Excel Industries Limited, Producer of Aluminium Household utensils won the Woman Exporter of the Year Award.
Ghana News Agency picked up an award for export services through export trade publicity and the Chinese Embassy in Ghana was recognised for Trade Promotion.