Switzerland provides $5.35m to boost exports

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Switzerland has renewed its commitment to support Ghana’s economic development by providing $5.35 million to enhance the export of fruits, cocoa, fish and wood products.
This would be done through the United Nations Industrial Organisation’s (UNIDO’s) Trade Capacity Building Programme for the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In its previous programme which started in 2007, and ended in 2012, Switzerland financially supported the conformity assessment institutions in the country in areas if standards, certification, accreditation and testing.

Addressing a gathering at the launch of the second phase of the programme, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Andrea Semadeni, said he was of the conviction that embracing a quality-driven growth path would allow the creation of value addition in the country.

“This would make Ghana become a reputable trading partner and by so doing, create job opportunities for all,” he said.

Additionally, as the country navigated its way from a low income into an emerging middle income country, it was faced with new and more complex developmental issues.

“Ghana needs to tackle short and medium-term issues to firmly establish growth on a sustainable path towards catching up with its high income peers,” he added.

He expressed optimism that the upgraded services would enhance the sustainability, quality and export competitiveness of the selected value chains by ensuring compliance with international quality standards.

Mr Semadeni, however, affirmed Switzerland’s commitment to support Ghana in its effort to diversify the economy and improve trade and the investment climate.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Nii Lantey Vanderpujie, said the sound development and effective implementation of the programme across government structures would help to facilitate trade and promote sustainable economic development, as well as help to improve livelihood.

He said even though the country had liberalised its market in the hope that it would allow for expansion in the industrial base, achieve export-led growth and eradicate poverty, these had still not been achieved.

The reason, he said,  was mainly due to lack of capacity to produce products conforming  with export market  requirements, appropriate  technical  regulations and standards and the capacity to integrate  effectively into the global supply chains through enhanced access to global markets.

Mr Vanderpujie, therefore, lauded the UNIDO’s programme, adding that it would help to achieve improvements in the supply chain capacity to produce products that would meet international standards.

Story by Zainabu Issah / graphic.com.gh