A programme dubbed: "National Services Export Strategy,"was launched on Tuesday with the aim of exporting consultancy services, medical tourism, travel and leisure, education and other non-tangible and invisible services provided by Ghanaians abroad.
Mr Edward Collins Boateng, Executive Secretary of Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) explained that services like medical and consultancy services were being provided by Ghanaians who earned foreign exchange from such services but there was no data captured on those activities.
"The launch of the National Services Export Strategy would help us to capture data on the amount of foreign exchange earned through such services and how that could contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country."
Gross Domestic Product is the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country in a given year.
Mr Boateng expressed believe that the services sector was the future of the country's economy and urged stakeholders to promote the sector not only in the country but the global market.
Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiative, said Ghana had a service export sector that had been unrecognised and unaccounted for in the economic development statistics.
"It is one of the immense potential and prospects to grow the non-traditional export sector in far greater leaps," he said and noted that businesses required superior services to remain competitive in a sophisticated and competitive market place.
Papa Owusu Ankomah said world trade in services had grown rapidly, naming the professional and technical services relating to communications, finance and insurance, accounting, software development, database management, data processing, architecture, construction and engineering among several others as some of the means of providing services to foreign visitors.
The Minister said Ghana required a more purposeful national approach to take advantage of and participate in the globalised world of business.
"That is why we embrace this renewed national effort at providing a clearer strategic direction for the development of the services export sector in Ghana."
Papa Owusu Ankomah called for greater attention to be paid to quality management, setting of standards and accreditation by professional bodies to ensure that Ghana appeared on the screens of major users and consumers of international services.
"Quality is a pre-requisite and not even modernized telecommunications can be substituted for professionally competent, competitively priced, high quality service and timely delivery."
He announced the availability of a 50 percent matching grant scheme available through the Business Development Services Fund operated by his ministry under the World Bank and Government of Ghana and urged service providers targeting the export market to take advantage.
Papa Owusu Ankomah explained that under the scheme service providers could receive up to half of the cost of obtaining an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for business processes which he said was also an important selling point for businesses to go international.
Dr Boeh Ocansey, Director General of the Private Enterprises Foundation chaired the programme and stressed the need for capacity building and collaboration of firms in the services sector.
He asked service providers to be mindful that the global market place had huge opportunities as well as challenges that required a litany of strategies to enable one stay afloat.
He expressed concern about the non-responsive nature of Ghanaian firms to new paradigms and positive regulations embedded in investment code and said the programme was a wake-up call for such firms to ensure that they were counted in the global market place.
An eight-member committee was inaugurated to see to the successful implementation of the Programme.