“Our over-reliance on a few primary commodities in the past has not helped us as much as expected,” the Minister said.
“Although we now export crude oil, turbulence on the international oil markets characterised by declining prices has not yielded expected revenues. It is prudent at this juncture that we focus our attention on the development of trade and attempt to sustain it,” he added.
The minister highlighted that revenue from the non-traditional export sector in the year 2013 amounted to US$2.436billion, representing an increase of 3.05 percent over export revenues in 2012 and accounting for 17.2 percent of total exports.
“Trade balance is expected to improve to a deficit of US$1.313billion compared with the projection of US$2.671billion due to increased exports on the back of higher cocoa prices,” he said.
“The provisional trade balance for the period January to September 2014 showed a deficit of US$681.3million, compared with a deficit of US$3.848billion at the end of 2013. The improvement in trade balance was on account of an 18.0 percent reduction in imports,” he added.