The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson has bemoaned the low levels of exports from Ghana to the US.
He argues that Ghanaian producers have not taken full advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which accords duty free treatment to nearly seven thousand qualifying products to the US.
In an interview with Citi Business News Mr. Robert Jackson said Ghana should take advantage of its strategic positioning in the African continent to increase its exports to the US.
“Picking from the over six thousand products that are available for duty free entry into the US and seeing where Ghana’s advantages are is very important, one thing I want to highlight is that Ghana is on the West Coast of Africa so getting goods from here to the United States market is far easier than from many other points in Africa and Ghanaian companies need to use that to their advantage,” he remarked.
Mr. Jackson spoke at the sidelines of the Ghana National AGOA Strategy Validation Meeting in Accra.
Meanwhile, a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsey says the Ministry has set a target of five hundred million dollars to be obtained as export revenue by 2020.
According to him, this can be achieved through strategic planning and utilization of available opportunities.
“Here we are and we have advantageous access to the biggest market in the world which is the US market, therefore there is an opportunity that we have to take and that is why I said clearly when I had a meeting with the Head of the Export Promotion Authority and some of our other colleagues where, I gave them a target to obtain five hundred million dollars in the next four years and I do not see why that is not achievable.”
“The target is clear and not based on some wishful thinking, it is based on analysis and it also reflects a nation with stakeholder consultation prior to drafting and finalization of the strategy document. It is common knowledge that we have clearly underutilized where we are with AGOA and that several other eligible countries including Ghana we lag very far behind others,” he added.
MrAhomka said government would play its role to ensure that Ghanaian producers have the necessary conditions that would propel them to take advantage of opportunities like AGOA and increase exports.
“To correct this phenomenon let’s start with us as government and you as the private sector working very closely with the AGOA institution set up to support us.”
About African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the cornerstone of U.S. Commercial relationship in trade and investment with Africa.
It was first signed into law on May 18th, 2000 and has been extended through 2025.
The act accords duty free treatment to virtually all products exported b beneficiary countries with the most liberal access to the United States market accorded to any country or region that has not negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States.