As part of building capacities and forming closer ties with exporters and potential exporters, Officers of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), led by Deputy CEO Samuel Dentu, have paid a visit to Kantanka Motors to familiarise themselves with the operations of the local auto assembler.
The visit was also meant to inform GEPA about the type of support the Authority could offer the local company and the export-oriented strategies needed to launch them into the export market.
The team had a fruitful discussion with the General Manager on the organisation’s ecosystem and the inherent challenges hindering their operations.
Notable amongst the many challenges raised were duties on imports on Completely Knockdown (CKD), lack of defined protocol for clearing CKD on non-labelled parts and the general lack of incentives for the manufacturing concern.
Kantanka contends that payment of duties on their cars, although manufactured in Ghana, is as a result of the duty charged on the imported components (CKD).
The CKD, in line with the ECOWAS CET, attracts a duty of 5%, excluding VAT, NHIS and other taxes such as special levy, ECOWAS/EXIM etc. The company believes that a waiver of the taxes on the inputs would have a significant effect on the prices of their vehicles.
One other thorny issue that hinders and delays their operations, especially at the port, is the lack of clearly-defined protocols to enable them clear imported CKD components which lead to unnecessary delays.
They urged GRA (Customs Division) to institute a well-defined protocol to assist the firm clear their inputs on time and without the payment of demurrage charges.
The company further intimated that although the government needs revenue to undertake projects, indigenous enterprises such as Kantanka Automobile should be given all the necessary support and incentives to be able to grow and be competitive globally.
For his part, the GEPA Deputy CEO was impressed with the work at the manufacturing company. He reiterated the fact that GEPA, as the National TPO mandated to develop and promote exports, will provide all the requisite support within its mandate to lead Kantanka into the sub-regional market and other markets.
The firm was further counseled to register with the Authority and begin the process of registering for the certificate on ECOWAS Protocol on Free Trade (Thus ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme – ETLS).
Discussions revealed that efforts at various levels of government are being made to assist the firm to operate optimally and competitively.
The Ministry of Trade (MOTI), Ministry of Finance and other para-statals are, but a few of the bodies that have indicated their readiness to assist the firm.
Further deliberations revealed that the marketing strategy pursued by the firm was based on the top-bottom approach to sales. Thus, a situation where the upper- and middle-class are targeted with specific products to get their approval and then other segments are targeted. Other marketing strategies adopted by the firm include One Mission-One pickup and one saloon car.
Other members of the GEPA visiting team included Head of Services, Manufacturers & Petrochemicals and his team, the PRO and a media person.