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Ghanaian industrialists ask government to review trade policy

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The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has called on government to review the country’s trade policy to facilitate industrial growth and economic development.

The group noted that even though Ghana was a signatory to the World Trade Organization agreement, too much of trade liberalization had resulted in the dumping of inferior goods in the country.

Nana Owusu Afari, President of the AGI, made the request when members of the group paid a courtesy call on Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in Sunyani.

The group that was led by Barima Ansu-Adjei, president of the Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti branch of the Association, also visited Oti Yeboah Complex Limited, a plywood manufacturing company, at Abesim, near Sunyani, to acquaint itself with operations of the company.

Nana Afari stressed that though the AGI recognized trade liberalization, it was of the view that government should strictly monitor the policy to prevent dumping of substandard commodities in the local market.

He expressed worry that organizations responsible for preventing inferior goods from entering the country had failed to work effectively.

Nana Afari said that “Ghana is a developing country and we need to put measures in place to safeguard and sustain the economy”.

He said that a survey conducted by the AGI indicated that 75 per cent of the country’s furniture was imported because of a decline in the timber industry.

Nana Afari said that the Association was working with government to initiate measures to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo said that government appreciated the contribution of the AGI to national development and it would support the private sector, which employed a chunk of the country’s labour force.

He appealed to Ghanaians to consume made in Ghana goods, saying “If we continue to patronize foreign products it means we are creating more jobs for those countries.”

Mr. Kwadwo Yeboah-Asuamah, Administrative Officer of Oti Yeboah Complex, said that the company had a 1,600 labour force and exported plywood to Togo, Niger, Benin and Nigeria.

He said high cost of electricity, spare parts, fuel, and difficulties in acquiring timber concession were negatively affecting production.

Mr. Yeboah called for a review of the processes involved in the acquisition of timber concession so that companies could process all documents at the local level.

Source: GNA

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