Small and Medium Size Enterprises in Ghana have been urged to adopt sustainable practices in order to access profitable markets in Europe and the North America.
The comments were made at the launch of the first Trade for Sustainable Development Hub in West Africa here in Ghana.
The Trade for Sustainable Development Hub in Accra is expected to run for 24 months, offering training and capacity building for 20 to 40 SME’s along with staff of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
The Authority is expected to sustain the hub after the 24th month.
Speaking on the sideline of the launch of the T4SD Hub (one of six in the world) here in Accra, the CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) Madam Afua Asabea Asare highlighted the dangers of not adopting sustainable practices going forward.
“Presently it’s very difficult to sell on the international market if you are not sustainable. So we as GEPA thought that this is the time to involve our stakeholders including exporters to let them understand that this is where the world is going and that we need to be up and doing so we are not left behind. Going sustainable will impact profitability because the more you adhere to some of these things the more your products will be accepted.”
On his part, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkorah stated that he was confident that if SMEs adopt and abide by acceptable sustainable practices, they will gain access to profitable markets which will lead to more foreign exchange coming to Ghana.
The Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive value chains at the International Trade Center Vanessa Erogbogbo, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the T4SD Hub on behalf of the ITC categorically stated that businesses that fail to incorporate green strategies will not thrive in the long term.
“My simple message to MSME’s in Ghana is this, if you do not implement sustainable practices, if you do not understand voluntary sustainable standards then it’s going to be very difficult for you to access international markets, because this is exactly where markets are going.”
About the Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) project
Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) is a partnership-based programme which helps businesses, regardless of their position in the value chain, chart their path to more sustainable trade by better understanding the sustainability initiatives landscape and to connect with business partners.
T4SD will serve as a coaching program aimed at strengthening the implementation of sustainable business practices of SMEs.
The objective of the Ghana hub is to assist export-ready small and medium sized enterprises ease their participation in sustainable global value chains by better understanding and implementing sustainable trade issues such as climate change adaptation, resource efficiency, circular economy, green finance, market access, and voluntary sustainability standards.
By: Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana