Fifty-five Ghanaian companies and individuals have been recognised for their sterling performance in the export business over the last two years, 2017 and 2018.
This was at the President's National Awards for Export Achievement, organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and held in Accra on December 18, 2019.
The event, which was the fusion of the 27th and 28th edition, was on the theme, 'Fifty years of service to Ghana's export sector: rewarding excellence.'
It was to formally recognise the contribution of exporters in the non-traditional export (NTE) sector to economic growth and to encourage higher levels of performance by exporters among others.
The coveted award, Exporter of the Year 2018, went to Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO), and that of 2017 went to Wilmar Africa Limited.
The Woman Exporter of the Year for 2017 went to Ms Rose Mensah of Ernimich Co. Ltd. exporters of Gari, melon seed and spices while Ms Emelia Adjei Ohene-Kena, of Royal Crown Packaging Ltd., exporters of articles of printing and printed matter won the 2018 Woman Exporter of the Year.
HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, took the Most Diversified Exporter of the Year award for both years.
Speaking at the awards, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, noted that the NTE sector had made progress through increased revenues by 10.05 per cent in 2018 at a total of $2.813 billion over that of 2017 at $2.556 billion.
He said the NTE target of $3.2 billion for this year though looked ambitious, it could be achieved through efforts by the GEPA, and the resilience of the economic climate.
''The MOTI is also pursuing a 10-point agenda as part of government’s industrial agenda. These are revolutionary and have begun yielding the expected results,'' he said.
He cited the vegetable sector market restrictions by the European Union market, particularly, and Nigeria's temporary border closure as some of the market challenges.
However, he gave an assurance that most of the export restrictions on most of the vegetables had been lifted and government was engaging the Nigerian authorities to resolve the issues.
He said the new 10-year National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), as the blueprint for the consistent and concentrated development of Ghana's export, had been completed by GEPA and implementation was expected to begin in 2020 once it was approved.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, commended the exporters for their hard work which had contributed to export revenues realised in 2018.
''It is only fair that we attribute some of the successes to you because it is your courage, resilience and hard work that contribute to building Ghana,'' she said.