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Trade Ministry’s Compete Ghana officially hands over Ghana’s first virtual trade hub to GEPA

By Gloria Anderson

A virtual trade hub developed by Compete Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and funded by the European Union has been handed over to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).

The virtual hub will serve as a marketplace that will make the products of Ghanaian exporters visible to buyers in Germany and across the EU on one platform.

The E-commerce platform also seeks to provide information and intelligence on opportunities in foreign markets, promote Ghanaian products, foster business-to-business linkages, and follow up on shipments to address post-clearance issues arising in the export markets.

The Team Lead, Compete Ghana Programme, Mr Nicholas Gebara, handing over the platform to the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the Virtual Ghana Trade E-commerce platform, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, will boost sales for companies on the platform.

“There were some fine tunings to be done by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to finalise the contractual agreements with any company wishing to be part of the platform,” he said.

Nicholas Gebara.

“From there, we really hope to have more companies as possible participating on the platform, Germany is the first step, but from Germany, the warehouse can also distribute to other neighboring countries like France, Holland, Belgium, and Italy,” he noted.

“So, that also could be the expansion, not just to the German market in the European Union (EU) but other neighbouring markets in the EU as well.” 

Mr Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, a key expert of the Technical Assistance Team, Compete Ghana Programme, said Ghana had embarked on attempts to establish varying degrees of Export Trade Houses, Export Management, and Export Trading companies.

Gerald Nyarko-Mensah.

Variants of those had also been undertaken, such as the Group Marketing Schemes and Group Shipment Schemes, with the most recent being the Ghana Trade House in Nairobi, Kenya, by GEPA.

Germany was eventually selected for the pilot due to its market size, economy, and diaspora population, among others, he said, and that Compete Ghana had also engaged with the Ghana Mission in Germany for initial preparations to establish the pilot.

He said Ghanaian exporters often faced challenges in reaching international markets, accessing adequate market information and intelligence on some of the targeted exports, hence the need for the E-commerce platform.

Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, receiving the platform, said the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), currently in its third year of implementation, was to achieve a non-traditional export revenue target of 25.3 billion dollars by 2029.

Dr Afua Asabea Asare.

GEPA had been implementing various programmes and activities within the framework of the NEDS, which included support for expansion of the supply capacity of the targeted priority products to enhance the capacity building of export-oriented SMEs.

“And also continue the assistance to export oriented SMEs to participate in international trade fairs and exhibitions and other market expansion programs,” she added.

It was in view of these market expansion and diversification efforts that GEPA took the initiative to establish the first Ghana Trade House in Nairobi, Kenya, in May this year. Dr Asare said the establishment of trade houses or centres in key strategic markets was one of the recommendations outlined in the NEDS, adding that the success of Kenya’s would make a case for its replication in other strategic markets.

“The Trade House in Kenya is doing well so far, and exporters have shown keen interest in registering to participate in it.” 

She, therefore, commended the Compete Ghana Programme for the work done in respect of the projects, which would go a long way to support GEPA’s work. 

“The Virtual E-commerce Platform …. will certainly add value to the ongoing work, it will become an integral part of GEPA’s activities linked to the trade House Project and improve the functionalities of the market hub,” she said. 

Ghanaian exporters at the launch were happy with the initiative and said it would be a boost for their business and give them easy access to the European markets.

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