Non-Traditional Export (NTE) generated US$ 2.813 billion in 2018 as compared to the US$ 2.556 billion earned in 2017 representing 10 percent growth rate.
In 2017, NTE grew by 3.9 percent in contrast to the negative growth experienced by the sector between 2014 and 2016.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr. Samuel Dentu, at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday.
Mr. Dentu attributed the growth in NTE mainly to the 43.84 percent increase in the export of cashew nuts from 2017 to 2018. He added that other big contributors to the growth of NTE included cocoa derivatives, articles of plastics, canned tuna, iron products and steel, aluminum products and banana.
He said agriculture contributed US$ 591 million (representing 21.01% of the growth), handicrafts contributed US$ 12.87 (representing 0.46% of the growth) and processed products contributed US$ 2.208 billion (78.53% representing of the growth).
Concerning the market destination and contribution, the Deputy CEO mentioned Europe as contributing US$ 1.1 billion while the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) contributed US$ 742 million.
“Other countries also contributed about US$ 722 with the Netherland being the leading country in Europe (contributing US$ 430,206,810), Burkina Faso being the leading country in ECOWAS (US$ 238,163,226) and India being the leading contributor among other countries (with US$ 230,811,176),” he explained.
Despite the significate growth in NTE, Mr Dentu said there were still opportunities in major areas such as cocoa paste export which experienced a decline by 37 percent, adding that, pineapple export also reduced by 48.75 percent and the export of fresh and chilled tuna reducing by 23 percent.
According to him, GEPA would continuously engage stakeholders in the export eco-system to ensure that NTE would sustain the generation of the foreign exchange for the country and that the focus of GEPA this year was the implementation of an export strategy called the National Export Strategy Document.