Ghana’s economy still remains a highly import driven one despite calls and the need to diversify the country’s exports and move it to a highly export driven one.
Latest figures from the Ghana Shippers’ Authority have shown that total imports via the country’s maritime trade routes were twice the total exports for 2016 as compared to the previous year.
Also, liquid bulk imports comprising crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas topped the imports recording over a thousand percent increase between 2015 and 2016.
The CEO of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Dr. Kofi Mbeah at the Authority’s maiden Shipping quarter and outlook, explained that the total imports for 2016 was 12.05 million metric tonnes.
Of this, a major performer was the liquid bulk imports comprising commodities like crude oil and Liquefied petroleum gas.
Exports on the other hand amounted to 5.55 million metric tonnes representing almost 27 percent increase over the 2015 figures.
The major contributor to this was dry bulk exports comprising manganese and bauxite.
Although 2016 witnessed improved performance over the previous year’s figures, Dr. Mbeah couldn’t undermine the impact of the Terminal Handling Charges plus the general elections on the trade activities.
“I believe somewhere in May 2016 with the introduction of the Terminal Handling Charges, it affected us minimally because of the import trade and the amounts of monies involved. Even at present, there are shippers that are claiming refunds,”
“Its impact I would not say is significant as far as the performance of 2016 is concerned,” he stated.
In addition, 33% of the total import seaborne trade originated from the far East region with imports from other African countries accounting for 27 percent.
Meanwhile the Ghana Shippers’ Authority is optimistic of a 10 percent improvement in the 2017 trade volumes.
The Authority’s optimism is largely influenced by the calm political climate plus other policies and initiatives including the tax cuts on imports.
“The outlook for 2017 is undoubtedly bright but we must continue to improve the dialogue so we can have a better narrative. The kind of narrative that resonates with the private sector and brings confidence to the business community,” he observed.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana