Ghana’s non-traditional  exports soar to $3.9bn in 2023
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Ghana’s non-traditional exports soar to $3.9bn in 2023

Ghana's Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) increased from $3.531 billion in 2022 to $3.944 billion in 2023, the 2023 Annual NTEs Statistics Report has revealed.

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This represents a 11.75% positive variance compared to the 6.68% growth recorded in 2022.

The growth was driven by a combination of structural changes in Ghana's NTEs ecosystem and pragmatic implementation of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said this accounted for 24 per cent of total merchandise exports and marked progress towards the decade-long goal of $25.3 billion by 2029.

Dominant sub-sector

She said manufactures/semi-processed sub-sector continues to be the major NTE sub-sector in contribution to total NTEs with export earnings at $3.35 billion.

It contributed an enormous 85.25% to the total NTE earnings in 2023.

The rise was caused by the performances of products such as iron/steel circles rods, sheets billet, and aluminium plates, sheets, shea (Karite) oil and cut fruits.

The agricultural sub-sector in 2023 accounted for $495.8 million of total NTEs earnings compared to $509.9 million earned in 2022, indicating a 3.02% drop in export revenue.

However, the sub-sector contributed 14.47% to total NTE earnings in 2023.

Art and craft 

The Industrial Art and Craft sub-sector increased by 2.43% over 2022, to $95.7 million with the sub-sector contributing 2.30% to total non-traditional export earnings.

The overall growth of the Industrial Art & Craft sub-sector was 17.85%. The rise was caused by increasing demand for made-in-Ghana ceramic products across West Africa resulting in an expansion in the capacity of production plant and relentless trade facilitation efforts by GEPA.

She said the driving force behind the expansion was the rise in exports of iron/steel circles, rods, sheets, and billets.

She explained that the positive trend reflected a combination of structural changes within Ghana's NTEs framework and the continuous implementation of key interventions outlined under the NEDS throughout the year.

At the end of December 2023, total NTEs stood at US$3.9 billion while total merchandise exports were US$16.6 billion and the NTE's percentage contribution to total National exports since 2018 has been on a positive trajectory, rising from 17 per cent in 2018 to 24 per cent in 2023.

Top 10 NTEs

The top 10 NTE products for 2023 are Iron and steel circles, rods, sheets, billets, Cocoa Paste, Cashew nuts, Cocoa butter, Articles of plastics and Canned tuna.

The rest are Cocoa powder, Shea oil, Natural rubber sheets and Aluminium plates, sheets, and coil.

Cumulatively, the total value of the top 10 leading products amounted to US$2.119 billion, representing 54.4% of total NTE earnings for 2023.

Dr Asare said the release of the NTEs statistics was a key aspect of GEPA’s operations, providing valuable insights that drive GEPA's strategic initiatives forward.

"Overall, GEPA made substantial strides in promoting Ghana's exports, enhancing sector capacities, and fostering international trade redations," she added.

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