EXIM Bank aids govt’s economic transformation agenda

The Ghana Export Import (EXIM) Bank is strategically empowering the private sector through various support programmes to help make businesses more competitive and capable of contributing to the realisation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

As a development bank with focus on export-led financing, the bank has since its establishment in 2016 supported investors and companies in selected areas of the economy with low cost funds to retool, improve their operational efficiencies and produce exportable goods.

The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, said in an interview that all these were aligned to the government’s 10-point agenda for industrial transformation.

The bank’s strategy also focuses on developing specific sectors such as garment and apparel manufacturing, raw material base development for avocado, cashew, oil palm and cassava, he said.

“Ultimately, the Ghana EXIM Bank seeks to support the private sector with a view to improving the country’s economic fortunes,” he said.

Therefore, in choosing enterprises it will support, Ghana EXIM Bank considers three key benchmarks, which are derived from development instead of commercial objectives. These are employment creation, value addition through production efficiency and foreign exchange revenue potential.

1D1F

As the national EXIM bank, Mr. Agyinsam said the Ghana EXIM Bank was the main financial driver behind the government’s flagship district industrialisation programme (DIP), the One District, One Factory (1D1F) Initiative.

The initiative seeks to accelerate Ghana’s industrialisation and socio-economic development. It is anticipated that the programme will empower entrepreneurs by giving them access to market for their output and also create jobs for the teeming youth.

So far, Mr. Agyinsam said the EXIM Bank had approved GH¢417million to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the above-mentioned initiative.

“Coordination between the 1D1F Secretariat and the bank ensures that regional balance, project viability, availability of infrastructure and the corporate governance structure of each potential company is considered before each project is appraised by the bank,” he said.

Five-year plan

He explained that the bank’s five-year strategic goals (2017-2022) were to increase revenue from non-traditional exports (NTEs) from the current average of US$2.4 billion to US$5billion, develop crops such as avocado and cashew into major export products.

Also it seeks to reduce the nation’s import bill for poultry by US$300million to become a key finance partner for effective implementation of government initiatives such as 1D1F and to complement the effort of exporters making Ghana a strong pillar regionally and globally for example in Pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Strategic partnerships

Mr. Agyinsam said the bank was interested in building its own capacities to be able to serve the country better. As a result, he said it had so far had collaborations with USAID, EXIM Bank of India, Korea EXIM, Turkey EXIM, Afrexim Bank, US EXIM Bank, China EXIM Bank.

Other partnerships include Berne Union, G-NEXID, SACE of Italy, AADFI, CDC of Canada, Credit Suisse and UKEF.

He explained that while some of the collaborations covered technical assistance, some involved financial support.

He said the AFREXIM and US EXIM collaborations were direct financial supports bank’s operations and the 1D1F respectively.

Project areas

He said projects funded by the bank included:

Poultry

Three (3) projects

Pineapple

Three (3) projects

Sweet Potatoes

One (1) project funded

Cassava

Three (3) projects

Avocado

One (1) project funded

Cashew

Two (2) projects funded

Brick and Tiles

One (1) project funded

Fertilizer Manufacturing

One (1) project funded

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Seven (7) projects funded

So far, EXIM Bank has approved GH¢417million to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the government’s key programmes aimed at industrialising the economy

Thebftonline.com

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