The National Investment Bank (NIB) is to set up an Export Facilitation Desk to assist export trade financing. This initiative is driven by the bank’s desire to boost export trade in the country.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr John Kweku Asamoah, announced this at the Exporters’ Breakfast Forum in Accra.
The forum was organised by the NIB, in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), to identify and discuss challenges facing non-traditional exporters.
Mr Asamoah said the decision of the NIB to venture into the export sector was due to the potential the sector had in improving economic growth and the development of the country.
He assured exporters of the bank’s resourcefulness to meet their demands.
He said the NIB had the capability to assist the export sector due to the diversified market target handled by the bank.
He assured customers that the bank’s branch network expansion across the country would better serve the needs of exporters.
Financing non-traditional exports
The Director of Export Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Gerald Nyarko Mensah, who delivered a speech on behalf of the sector Minister, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, commended the NIB for taking the lead in promoting export trade.
He said the bank played a significant role in export trade, with investment of over €20 million in pineapple, oil palm, rubber and other non-traditional exports.
That, he said, was in tune with the ministry’s mission to contribute at least $5 billion in revenue to the nation by 2020.
Mr Mensah added that the five-year strategy of the ministry would make the needed impact on non-traditional exports, saying that the structures to enable commencement of implementation had already been put in place.
He charged banks to complement efforts of the government by devising new lending strategies to support export-oriented businesses.
According to him, that could be done by making funding more accessible at interest rates less burdensome on export business.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GEPA, Mr James Tiigah, challenged exporters to adopt best practices by ensuring timely and accurate record keeping.
He said 11 companies in non-traditional exports earned between $50 million and $222 million in 2014, while 26 others earned between $10 million and $46 million in 2015 and expressed the confidence that the sector would make giant strides in the foreseeable future, given the needed support.
The Board Chairman of GEPA, Mr Kobina Ade-Coker, said the NIB had the track record and expertise to help exporters and, therefore, encouraged them to open accounts with the bank.
He also urged the NIB to be flexible in giving loans to exporters.
Participants at the forum shared their experiences and challenges and those challenges were addressed by invited resource persons from the NIB, the GEPA and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Present at the forum were Dr Kofi Mbiah, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority and Dr George Crentsil, the Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority, who contributed in addressing some questions by exporters.