Graphic Business News

Exporters raise concern on flat requirement

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Ms Eugenia Akuete, an exporter speaking to the media after forum

The issue of a flat requirement for all types of businesses was expressed as a major concern at the annual national exporters forum held in Accra.

Some exporters complained that the classification of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was blurred.

The Chief Executive of Mother's Shea, Ms Eugenia Akueteh, said the grouping of medium companies with large ones ended up in a way that in terms of processing, regulation, funding, documentation and others, they were all treated as large companies.
"We are not there yet and that needs to be changed in terms of policy. We have micro and small. There is no medium and then large, and yet we call it SMEs,'' she said in an interview during  the forum organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), on December 12, 2019.

She said it was necessary to encourage the medium sized companies to grow if the government was trying to create a good business environment.

"We start from micro and small and move to medium. We want to be large but we need encouragement and to benefit from available resources.
"Or else sometimes you feel like quitting because the struggles are so much,'' she said.

Lack of coordination
Some exporters also raised concerns over what they perceived to be lack of coordination and cooperation between the two major regulatory agencies, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

They complained that resulted in duplication of efforts and adds on to cost.

"You go through certification with the GSA, they do all the testing and charge you. You go to the FDA, they insist on doing the same thing.
"It affects our bottom line cost. Policies should be developed to help us,'' Ms Akueteh said.

The Head of Food Industrial Support Services Department at the FDA, Mr Ebenezer Kofi Essel, said the authority had considered such issues and will soon roll out a comprehensive registration process.

"By this we will see how best to address these things,'' he said.

He said the FDA will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to see how best they can work together.

He added that the NBSSI had business development centres nationwide and we should be able to train their officers such that all information businesses require can be obtained from them.