GEPA builds SMEs' competitiveness for export financing
Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) has held a day’s forum to build up the capacity of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the Central Region to unlock their financing potentials into global giants.
Date Created : 6/23/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Isaac Arkoh/Ghanadistricts.com
The well-attended forum sought to upscale the activities of SMEs in the export sector to through efficient financial resource mobilization compete, grow, expand, export, and create jobs to back economic growth.
Arranged in partnership with export-oriented banks, the platform created a stage for SMEs on one hand and banks on the other to discuss dispassionately the financing conundrum SMEs faced.
The engagement was in tandem with GEPA's mandate to develop, facilitate and promote Ghanaian trade exports through local and international trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, and capacity building, among others.
Speaking on the theme: “Financial resource mobilization: A key factor in SME growth,” Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA said the SME sector was an essential engine for job creation and export promotion.
That, she said, had been propelled by the advent of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to reposition SMEs to take advantage of the 1.2 billion consumers across the Continent.
“We can benefit from the AfCTA, if we build a strong local trade force to compete favorably,” she said, adding that the government, through GEPA, would play its part likewise SMEs.
However, she said the catalog of challenges faced by SMEs was well-known, but the major profound problem had always been the mobilization and management of financial resources.
Others are the cost and reliability of energy, lack of expertise, succession planning deficiency, opaque management style, raw material sourcing, and many other non-financial encumbrances.
“Although it is empirically proven that loans to SMEs constitute the riskiest of many banks’ investment portfolios, the incalculable benefits derived from a resilient and buoyant SME sector could not be underplayed, particularly in times of economic stagnation.
"The risk of exposure and spectrum can be lowered by the banks if they get more interested in the developmental phases of the business enterprises they have advanced loans to,” she explained.
For that matter, she urged banks to extend flexible credit facilities to SMEs to spearhead the national industrial transformation drive.
Dr. Clement Ansah, the Regional Manager of the Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) on behalf of the banks, admonished SMEs to work collaboratively with financial institutions to increase Ghana’s export earnings.
The participating banks took turns to share their products and services.
Some participants expressed their profound gratitude and appreciation to GEPA for creating the platform, especially knowing some wonderful offers the banks have to offer.
They urged GEPA to continue to initiate programs that will speak to the needs of exporters so that together we can build a more resilient and export-driven economy.